a splendid tour


The Popular Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour returns to Virginia Manor for a second year on Sunday, November 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eight homes, all festively decorated for the holidays, will be open to the public.  Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Symphony Association, the tour has raised more than $240,000 since it debuted in 2013.

Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is, “Whose houses are on the tour?” There may have been a “leak or two” about the houses from residents—many of the people whose houses are on the tour are very active in the community. But event chair Cathy Trombetta will not divulge that information; some of the homeowners prefer to be anonymous. Trombetta is happy to offer a few “teasers” about what you’ll see in the houses, which are scattered throughout the neighborhood on Osage, Valleyview, Couch Farm, Larchmont and Glenridge:

  • The décor of one home reflects the owners’ close ties to Italy.
  • Several remodeled outdoor living spaces serve, in the words of one owner as “private oases of relaxation.”
  • Custom-made furniture created by an artist makes one home unique.
  • One couple met at the home they now own many years ago on a blind date.
  • One home was purchased completely gutted. It took almost a year before the family could move in.
  • A specially designed children’s playroom highlights a young family’s home.
  • A white baby grand piano is the centerpiece of a music room.
  • Some houses have been modernized, with walls removed to create an open floor plan.

In addition to beautiful holiday decorations that reflect the owners’ diverse lifestyles and interests, each home will offer holiday entertainment. Among the choral and orchestral performers will be 28 members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, many of whom live in Mt. Lebanon.

There will be no on-street parking on the tour route. Participants should park at the lot at Manor Oak II off Cochran Road just over the border in Scott, where people who have pre-purchased tickets will pick up programs and others can buy tickets. At Manor Oak II, people can board one of several trolleys that will shuttle from house to house, allowing people to start and finish wherever they like and tour however many homes they choose.

Tax deductible tickets are $60 per person or two for $100 in advance, and $70 on the day of the tour. Tickets are on sale now in Mt. Lebanon at Rollier’s and Howard Hanna on Washington Road and at Lee Heckman Framing and Barefoot Stitches and Gifts on Beverly Road. Purchase tickets online at www.psa75.org or by calling 412-392-3303.

Title sponsor for the tour is Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Lead sponsors are Louis Anthony and Dollar Bank. Lamar Advertising is the media sponsor. Mt Lebanon’s public information office and police department also have helped plan the tour.

Photos: George Mendel