To old house junkies and HGTV addicts, warmer weather means house tour season, when local homeowners open their abodes to members of the public, often to raise money for a local organization.
House tours “really share the character of each neighborhood and they attract people from all over the city,” said Bonny Kwolek, co-chairperson of the Observatory Hill house tour committee.
Sometimes a house tour can even turn into house hunt.
Kwolek attended the Observatory Hill house tour for years before deciding to move there herself from the South Hills in 2010.
“The fact that it’s a walking tour means people aren’t simply passing through the neighborhood but are really engaging and getting to know it,” said Janine Jelks-Seale, co-chairperson of the Highland Park Community Council’s house tour committee.
“Tour-goers cannot only appreciate the history of architecture from another era, but there are some really great comeback stories of dilapidated homes brought back from the brink,” she said.
Both women credit house tours as great ways to meet neighbors.
“You actually produce a community that way, and pride in the community, so that people take care of the community,” Kwolek said.
And don’t forget your walking shoes and your sense of adventure.
“It’s just nice to get out and explore the nooks and crannies of Pittsburgh,” Jelks-Seale said.
The Sewickley House Tour is one of the region’s longest-running house tours, this year’s marking its 38th iteration. The 2018 tour called “At Home in Sewickley” includes five homes in the village of Sewickley and the boroughs of Edgeworth and Bell Acres. All proceeds from this self-guided tour benefit the nonprofit Child Health Association of Sewickley, founded in 1923, which provides grants to regional programs and services…
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