House tour's featured home offers something for all tastes (2023)

Pam Gregg described her home in Sewickley Heights as traditional at its core with different flavors at each end.

During the Child Health Association of Sewickley's 35th house tour Friday and Saturday, visitors will have the opportunity to "taste" those flavors as she and her husband, Walter, open their Persimmon Road 1950s home, "Back There," to help with the 35th Sewickley House Tour.

She described the home's many renovations starting with the pub room, which had at one time been divided into a library and galley kitchen, then later remodeled into a larger kitchen.

The room now features several brown leather chairs surrounding a round table featuring a glass decanter and glasses; a wooden cabinet; a temperature-controlled wine storage unit with a glass front; a framed Sewickley Township map that features the Gregg's former home at Snuggery Farm.

The Greggs also expanded the home's entryway by removing the second-floor master bathroom and dressing room.

About three years ago, the second phase of the renovation involved constructing the master bedroom, which is decorated around a large antique poster of Alice Soulie, a 1920s performer.

"The whole house is filled with performing arts posters we got mostly in Chicago, because that's an interest to both of us, but this one was the only one that didn't have a home," said Pam Gregg, who runs the summer performing arts camp at Sewickley Academy.

A new music room, which had been a fourth bedroom, is home to a grand piano with three marionettes from Venice, Italy hanging above it. She explained that one is a young girl, one is her lover and the other is an evil man chasing the girl.

The last renovation phase included the addition of the family room/kitchen, mostly finished three or four months ago.

"We wanted to have all our favorite stars in here," Pam Gregg said pointing out many black and white pictures of Audrey Hepburn, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and more.

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In the corner sits a cinema-style popcorn maker, and purple accents can be seen on the bar stools surrounding a kitchen island and on the oven.

"I just wanted this room to be fun, fun, fun," she said.

Outside the new room is a terrace with a view reaching as far as Franklin Park, where Walter Gregg pointed out a tower in the distance above the trees. On the other side, a flag from the Allegheny Country Club also can be seen.

In the new basement, many photos and memorabilia are featured on the wall, including pictures of several Snuggery Farm buildings, Pam Gregg's former Attic Workshop for performing arts students, the Sewickley Academy Performing Arts Camp, a Child Health play performed on a boat on the Monongahela River and other memorabilia. The room also has a fireplace, which provides a home for a replica of a large swan.

Nearby is Walter Gregg's room featuring shovels he used for the groundbreaking ceremonies at PNC Park, as well as stags from the former B.F. Jones estate in Sewickley.

In other rooms of the house, paintings from several other local artists are featured.

Melody Lockerman painted pictures of wedding dresses belonging to the Greggs' two daughters; a large calla lily placed above a bathtub in one of bathrooms; and a large painting of Mark Twain on canvas to decorate a small corridor to a powder room.

Lockerman's work also includes a large tree painted on the wall of one of the grandchildren's bedrooms. The tree's knotted truck is painted over an old-fashioned-looking wooden door with metal fixtures that leads into the grandchildren's club house.

The grandchildren's names were painted into the truck to look like they were carved there. The branches and leaves extend onto the ceiling over two beds.

"It's like you're sleeping under the tree," Walter Gregg said.

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In a breakfront in another room, a replica of the striped-socked, ruby-slippered wicked witch's feet from "The Wizard of Oz" await visitors.

"We saw them in Maine, and I told Walter, ‘I must have them,'" Pam Gregg said with a laugh.

Walter Gregg, a retired vice chairman from PNC Bank, said remodeling always has been an avocation for him. Although he doesn't do the work, he said he is the mind behind the contracting work.

Before moving seven years ago to their current home, the Greggs lived at and remodeled six other homes since 1974. Snuggery Farm, where they lived for 15 years, and a home on Poplar Drive also had been a part of the house tour.

Pam Gregg, a member of the Child Health Association of Sewickley, said she and her husband support the association anyway they can.

"One of the ways to do that is to open up our house," Walter Gregg said.

"The house tour is great for charity, and it also motivates you to get things done that you've been putting off."

Six homes await viewing by the public

The Sewickley Valley will play host to visitors on Friday and Saturday for the 35th Sewickley House Tour presented by the Child Health Association of Sewickley.

Six homes representing a bygone era, as well as some contemporary classics, await the viewing public at this biennial event benefiting children in western Pennsylvania.

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Janet Kovac, Child Health president said the tour is a major source of funding that enables the organization to provide grants for children's organizations in western Pennsylvania.

The featured homes are: the Quarry house, Blackburn Road; Back There, Persimmon Road; the Murphy house, Woodland Road; the House of Four Sisters, Oliver Road; the Cottage on Oliver, Oliver Road; and the Light House, Maple Lane.

For two days every other year, local homeowners offer a glimpse into the area's past or a vision of state-of-the-art design and function.

The homes on tour are chosen for their architectural craftsmanship and elegance as well as their historic importance. They feature one-of-a-kind furniture, antiques, original works of art and decorating touches by renowned interior designers.

The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday for bus and self-guided walking tours and 6 to 9 p.m. for a self-guided candlelight tour.

On Saturday, self-guided walking tours run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The cost for the self-guided tours are $30 each.

For the candlelight tour Friday, five of the six homes are open, and the ticket is valid for Saturday to tour the sixth home, located in Sewickley Heights.

Tickets for the self-guided walking tour and candlelight tour are available on the website, as well as at many locations throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Visit for a complete list of locations.

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Show tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event.

As in years past, a bus tour by Lenzner Coach Lines will be available Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The cost is $88 and includes transportation, admission to six homes, a tour catalog, shopping in the Village of Sewickley and lunch at a local country club.

For reservations, contact Lenzner Coach Lines at 1-800-342-2349 or .

The traditional Child Health gingersnaps and lemonade will be served during tour hours.

In addition, the Edgeworth Club in Sewickley will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone on the self-guided walking tour.

The lunch will feature recipes from The Three Rivers Cookbooks. Guests do not need to be a club member. However, lunch will be cash only for nonmembers.

Sewickley House Tour Ticket outlets are located at Cocothe 541 Beaver St., 412-259-8847; Craig Allen Salon 517 Broad St., 412-741-2887; Hyde Travel 634 Beaver St., 412-741-5750; Orr's Jewelers 532 Beaver St., 412-741-8080; Party Ants 424 Broad St., 412-741-3780; Penguin Bookshop, 420 Beaver St., 412-741-3838; and The Jewel Thief, 431 Beaver St., Suite 5, 412-741-7717.

For more information, contact the Child Health office at 412-741-2593 or visit .

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