Handley Courtroom, the hilltop French Normandy-design and style estate in Fox Chapel where by Dana and Duffy Hanna are boosting their three kids, has quite a few evident charms.

Rustic and classy, the sprawling 7-bedroom residence at the leading of Pasadena Push has fifty percent-timbered white stucco partitions topped with slate roofs and a jaunty decorative turret. Constructed in 1923, it hugs three sides of a substantial central courtyard paved with granite Belgian block. Stone actions circling a fountain at the open up finish lead up to a walled formal lawn and gardens planted with quite a few types of peonies.

Hanna13The sunken residing room’s beamed ceiling rises 20 feet at the peak, but the wide house it addresses is stitched together by wrought iron at either conclusion. The attractive monitor earlier mentioned the fireplace complements the railings at the lobby. It is evident why the architect, Brandon Smith, had plenty of commissions, not only for country houses these as this one particular but for a number of state golf equipment.

But for all its attraction, heat recollections prompted the Hannas to obtain the location in 2013.

“I normally say it’s just one of the most psychological situations of your daily life, getting or providing a house. It’s a great deal much more than a transaction,” claims Duffy, the son of Pittsburgh serious estate mogul Howard “Hoddy” Hanna III and president of the relatives genuine estate empire’s home finance loan, title and escrow businesses.

Duffy grew up in Fox Chapel, and his household were being close friends with Handley Court’s past inhabitants and generally frequented them. Fourth of July picnics had been his beloved, as the lawn is an ideal vantage level to enjoy the borough’s two state golf equipment set off their competing fireworks.

Dana, cofounder of the local nonprofit Females Main Women and national director for the Napa Valley winemaker A single Hope, to start with saw the home through a toddler shower held for her when she was 8 months expecting with the couple’s initially child. “This full room was just pulsating with appreciate,” the New Jersey native states. “I obtained genuinely psychological searching all around at all the faces of the individuals who had been there with me, supporting and embracing me. So it just blows my mind that we stay in this home now.”

Occupying a 99-yr-old property has its difficulties, such as bringing the residence up to modern day-day living benchmarks devoid of getting rid of the first depth. “Having it even now search historic with today’s tech – finding cable, for instance, or Wi-Fi — they weren’t imagining of that when they constructed this location,” Duffy notes.


Each and every renovation, from the opened-up kitchen to a new household area to an ongoing floor-up rebuild and enlargement of the main bedroom suite, has been finished with hand-completed stucco interiors by educated craftsmen to match the primary walls. Nevertheless significantly continues to be as it always was, these kinds of as in the wood-paneled “boot area,” wherever a series of four stained glass home windows depicts scenes from a fox hunt.

Toph Dr Edward Mccague At Handley Court In 1931


The hooves of horses did at the time clop on the cobbles of Handley Court docket. Initial owners Dr. Edward and Margaret McCague elevated a few women and three boys here, all properly trained in the equestrian arts. The oldest daughter, Peggy, positioned third in a Devon Horse Clearly show leaping celebration just before reaching her teens, and their son Edward Jr. recalls riding his mount 4 miles north to the blacksmith store in the 1987 book “Fox Chapel: A History of an Space and its People” by Frances Hardie. Edward Jr. also recalled the silver provider and air of hushed formality in the dining space, which now however characteristics its polished beam ceiling and colorfully tiled fireplace fireside. He added his stern father also liked to entertain friends, and he experienced a half-gallon cocktail shaker to establish it.

Dr. Edward McCague, the lord of the manor, experienced immigrated to Pittsburgh as a boy with his loved ones from Yorkshire, England, beneath much humbler situations. His father, a laborer and eventual union organizer at the Homestead Functions, died in an industrial accident, and the relatives was evicted from company housing before long after.


Penury set the take care of of Edward, the oldest of 10 small children. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh College of Drugs in 1912 and served in British and American army hospitals in Planet War I, the place he specialized in dealing with pelvic accidents. He went on to observed the department of urology at Mercy Hospital and grew to become a professor at Pitt. In 1920, Edward, the son of a very poor Carnegie Steel rabble-rouser, married Margaret McCook, the wealthy daughter of Henry Clay Frick’s legal professional.

Edward and Margaret purchased a property in Squirrel Hill but ended up before long intrigued by developments in O’Hara Township. Mostly scattered farms and dust roadways that wound earlier the occasional clandestine whiskey still, it was turning into a bucolic enclave for rich East Finish people. Pittsburgh Discipline Club, bumped from Regent Sq. just after Frick finished its lease in 1914, moved there very first and secured 171 acres for 18 holes. The personal Shady Aspect Academy followed in 1922, transforming into a state boarding school. Fox Chapel Golfing Club opened the next 12 months, when the McCagues developed their estate.

At initial, they meant Handley Courtroom as a summer retreat. But the lure of life as landed gentry with a completely ready retinue of servants proved way too engaging, so they included a coal furnace and made the move long term. In 1934, the McCagues and their neighbors built a far more general public declaration of their prolonged-expression intentions. Their vote to variety a breakaway municipality remaining O’Hara Township cleaved in two.

Mark Houser is the author of MultiStories: 55 Antique Skyscrapers & the Business Tycoons Who Created Them.