Pittsburgh Steeler

With a nod to the Burgh’s industrial heritage, and an eye toward the new, Jeff Walz replaced an aging farmhouse with a chic steel cube.

The leafy streets of the Pittsburgh neighborhood known as Shadyside are filled with massive, robber baron–era mansions and modest workers’ cottages—brick-and-mortar relics of a once-burgeoning steel industry. There are even a few modernist gems, by the likes of Breuer, Meier, and Venturi. What’s been absent, until recently, is a domicile that most closely resembles a shipping container.

Jeff Walz gazes over the railing from the front stoop of his recycled steel–and–glass home, which replaced the quaint-but-decrepit 140-year-old farm-house in which he’d originally planned to reside

Still life with IKEA lampshade and ventless fireplace. The unfinished, black, welded- steel railing borders steps made of framing lumber, which emit a friendly, old-fashioned creak as Walz treads up and down.

Not that its owner, Jeff Walz, was looking to be provocative when he purchased the charming, 140-year-old farmhouse—interior sight unseen—that once sat upon the lot. But there was nothing quaint, or remotely salvageable, about the dry rot and mildew that greeted him once he ventured inside.

The open office and bedroom reside on either side of the second story catwalk. Below, Walz rests on a George Nakashima–inspired bench designed by architect Harry Levine’s Uncle Murray, while industrial designer Scott Summitt sits in a vintage Eames rocker.


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