Photo by Justin Criado
Northside developer James Hoy is gaining a reputation for having some of the most creative, unique house renovations around. His latest project on 604 Middle St. in Historic Deutschtown is no different, mimicking the style of a turn of the century train station.
By Justin Criado
James Hoy amazed many with his Steampunk inspired home renovation on 400 Alpine Ave. in Central Northside. The ex-basketball coach turned architectural savant is at it again, this time in Historic Deutschtown where he turned an abandoned property on 604 Middle St. in to a turn of the century train station.
“As soon as I walked through the door I had the vision of it,” Hoy said.
Affectionately called “Coach” for his 20-plus year coaching high school basketball, Hoy has now been in the redevelopment business for five years with his brother, Peter, and spent four months remodeling his latest brainchild.
“It’s like an art,” Hoy said. “It took a lot of time and research to find period correct pieces.”
The home features a welcome room complete with a Zenith radio and telephone from the 1920s along with a ticket window liked you see at a station.
“I wanted this to look like a luggage car,” Hoy said pointing to the suitcases that rested on a ledge above the room.
The kitchen features wooden counter tops that were made from the original floor and ceiling beams that weren’t strong enough to use. Underneath the kitchen is another Hoy creation; a wine cellar. The cellar space runs the whole length of the house so Hoy installed a wine cellar for the time being complete with hatch and ladder in the rear corner of the kitchen space.
An outdoor patio area completes the bottom level, while a spiral staircase, which was also a feature of his Steampunk house, leads the way to the second and third floors.
The house features two bathrooms, a bedroom and a reading room that can also function as a guest room. With two uniquely beautiful rebuilds under his belt, Hoy is already eyeing his next project, which is right across the street from his latest.
This one’s theme? an old post office.
“It’s like coaching a bad kid,” Hoy said. “All you see is this (abandon condition), but you can see the potential.”
Hoy is being inducted in to the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame Jan. 25 as a contributor for his work in running Born 2 Run Basketball Camp, one of the most successful area basketball camps.