One of oldest homes in Lawrenceville at center of controversy

One of oldest homes in Lawrenceville at center of controversy

PITTSBURGH — One of the oldest homes in one of Pittsburgh's fastest growing neighborhoods is at the center of a controversy.

Beth Rupert took Channel 11 inside her house in Lawrenceville that she hopes to sell to a developer, who wants to tear it down and build condos.

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But  the sale is now on hold because Rupert said Lawrenceville stakeholders have threatened to apply for a historical designation of the property.

It is vacant now but has been in her family for more than 35 years, and she contends it's not historically significant because of all the changes that have been made by her father-in-law who lived there for years.

Rupert said she needs to sell the property to pay for a new building for her day care.


Lawrenceville stakeholders declined to go on camera but emailed Target 11 a letter they sent to the zoning board opposing changes to the property. It said, in part, "setback and height standards will adversely affect the character of the immediate neighborhood, and of Lawrenceville of a whole."

The stakeholders did not address the historical significance of the home that was built in 178- and a spokesperson for the city's Historic Review Commission tells Target 11 they met with representatives from Lawrenceville stakeholders to discuss filing an application, but have not heard back.

Meanwhile, Rupert said the developer won't buy the property with threat of a possible historical designation looming.

"We as homeowners should have a right to sell our homes to whoever we want, for how much we want. And that should be our legal rights and that is our American right," Rupert said.

The developer is waiting on a ruling from the zoning board Wednesday night.

Lawrenceville stakeholders has still not filed an application for historical designation.