806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Allegheny West Wine & Garden Tour 2017


It’s Spanish wines and tapas for this year’s Wine Tour

The dates of the tour will be Friday, June 2nd and Saturday, June 3rd. We are finalizing the list of houses and will announce them soon. There will be properties never before featured on the Wine & Garden Tour. We are looking for volunteers, as well as sponsors. Please email if you’re able to help in either capacity.

Allegheny West Wine & Garden Tour 2017

Submitted by Carol Gomrick

Happy New Year! The holidays are barely behind us and the New Year is in full swing which means it’s time to start thinking about planning the 2017 Allegheny West Wine & Garden tour! I’m counting on prior volunteers and interested newbies to contribute ideas and time to help make the 2017 event bigger and better than ever.

Please attend a Wine Tour “Kick-off” meeting Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 pm at the AWCC office (806 Western Ave). I’d like to get your input from prior tours and fresh ideas for the 2017 event. One of our first tasks is to confirm the event date. This meeting will initiate the formation of a 2017 Wine and Garden committee.

Please e-mail me at if you are interested in attending on February 16th, so I have your email if something changes, or if you can’t attend and would still like to contribute.

I look forward to getting started and working with you!

Above & Beyond

Volunteer PartySince this is the month of the Christmas tour, if I wrote the Above & Beyond that managed to recognize everyone who helps out with the tour, the newsletter would have to be 20 pages long. Carrie Doyle, our Ways and Means chair, wrangles hundreds of volunteers to make the tour happen. An incredible amount of work goes into managing the tour, so thank you to the:

  • homeowners
  • folks who answer the phones & handle the tickets
  • guides
  • train museum volunteers
  • volunteers at the houses
  • greeters and volunteers at Calvary Church
  • folks who handle the luminaria
  • bundlers and hangers of greens (shout out to the crew of the show Manhunter who hung some of the greens this year because of their filming on Beech Ave)
  • maker of 50+ holly pins for the tour guides
  • hosts and volunteers for the volunteer party (very meta)
  • booklet designer (Thanks Greg!) and the folks who solicited ads and grants from local businesses
  • folks who cleaned up the streets and the neighbors who moved their cars

We literally couldn’t have done it without you! (Hope you had an awesome time at the volunteer part at Mitchell & Elaine’s).

2016 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour: Our 35th Year!

Submitted by Carrie Doyle

As I write this, it’s a cold night – 30 degrees to be exact – and I’ve just returned from the Tour Guide training for this year’s tour. This month’s Gazette will be printed post-tour but I wanted to take a moment to reflect and to thank many of you in advance of a busy weekend. A big thank you to Trish Burton, Gloria Rayman, Cathy Serventi, John DeSantis and Carole Malakoff for their words of wisdom and knowledge from the many years of producing such a wonderful tour.

Additionally, Doug Sprague (guides), Brandon Williams (greeters), Mary Ann Murphy & Cecile Canales (trains), Martin Fuess (Christmas Shoppe), Greg Coll (photos, brochure and mailer), Nonie Knauss (house sitters). Of course – our homeowners, too: Clayton Harris, Mark & Kimberly Moore, Carole & Bob Malakoff, Nick Duerlinger & Hal Dixler, Q Development and John DeSantis. I hope to have finalized numbers for January’s Gazette, and a more detailed thank you list as well! Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Allegheny West Fundraiser A Success!

Submitted by Sara Sweeney, on behalf of Dennis Bergevin

Neighbors Dennis Bergevin and Linda Iannotta developed a new fundraising event that debuted last month titled “Art at Home”. Six Allegheny West home owners sponsored the event raising funds for the Northside Community Food Pantry.

Each homeowner chose a favorite art piece from their collection to talk about and provided food and drink for the 24 participants. It was a beautiful evening that raised $750 for the Food Pantry.

2016 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour: Our 35th Year

The 2016 tour will be on Friday, December 9th from 5:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 am-8:00 pm. Tickets for the tour are $30 until November 30th; $35 after that date. Train museum tickets are $12; $15 after November 30th.

Volunteer Opportunities & Info

Postcard Mailing: The annual labeling of the Tour postcards is set for Monday, November 7th at 7:00 pm at Calvary. Please join us! We’ll have pizza and snacks and, with your help, we will be able to quickly put address labels on the 8,000 mailers that we send to potential tour visitors.

Ticket Sales: Tickets are available online and we have sold blocks of tours to a few groups. Expect tickets to sell at a brisk pace once our mailers are delivered.

Holiday Gift Shop: The shop will again be in the lower level of Calvary Church, so guests can shop before as well as after the Tour.

For more information about the Shop, please contact Martin Fuess.

Train Museum: The popular Toy Train Museum will, once again, be open at Holmes Hall. Visitors can visit before their tour or after they finish the tour of Holmes Hall. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. DVDs of the train exhibit will again be for sale for $15, and a limited number of the fine train books are available for $100.

Street Decorating: We will be decorating the streets on Saturday, December 3rd, starting at 9:00 am. Volunteers will be bundling greens to create the lamppost swags in the Serventi/Wilson garage on Dounton Way. This is an easy and fun way to get into the holiday spirit – and we can finish the job quickly with about 20 volunteers.

Clean Up: Please take some time to pick up litter and leaves in front of your house the morning of each tour day (Friday and Saturday). If each of us fills just one bag, our streets will be clean!

We need your help!

There are many opportunities to volunteer. During the tour, be a greeter at Calvary, a tour guide, a house sitter for a homeowner on tour, a conductor at the train museum or be ready to help with salting or shoveling if we get snow that weekend. Or help with the volunteer party or set up the luminaria.

Contact Carrie Doyle at or (412) 337-6020 – or come to our next meeting on November 9th @ 7:00 pm – and she’ll get you to the coordinator of that activity.

Share Your Story and Be Part of Allegheny West History

Submitted by Nick Smerker

You no doubt saw in last month’s Gazette that the Neighborhood History section of our website is now online! If you have not yet had a chance to visit, take a look at and let us know what you think. For those of you who have contributed house histories, thank you so much for making this resource possible!

There are still opportunities to participate in sharing the story about Allegheny West. Not only are we still happy to receive your house history in either paper or digital format (stop by the council office at 806 Western Ave or email, we would also love to record your own personal story. As part of the 50th anniversary of Allegheny West Civic Council – and the neighborhood as a whole – we are recording short interviews with neighbors both long standing and brand new. If you are interested, contact Nick by emailing today!

Alleys, Axles and Ales

Submitted by Abi Webb

Allegheny West has always been known for showing its beautiful Victorian homes and gardens on tour days. The alleys and garages have never been considered tour-worthy until now. On Saturday, September 24th attendees had the unique opportunity of strolling the backstreets of our neighborhood, peering into garages and carports to admire a different type of beauty—the neighbors’ car collections.

Even if cars weren’t your first interest, it did not hurt to offer 6 local brews from Penn Brewery, East End Brewery and War Streets Brewery on a perfect fall day – or to indulge in a Nathan’s hot dog on a Breadworks bun from Hott Dawgz food truck. All in all, a fantastic day for a new tour!

Photographs by Sara Sweeney

We would like to extend a very special thank-you to our sponsors this year, namely Babb Insurance – who offered Blitzburgh for registration and their two lots for parking – and Process Reproductions – for printing our posters and brochures and for bringing a ton of great cars for guests to admire. In addition, we want to thank Greg Coll for his creativity and attention to detail in creating our posters, flyers, program and Facebook page.

In addition, thank you to our dedicated neighbors Brian O’Neill, Cathy Serventi, Scott and Hillary Mosser and Tom Barbush, who really ran with a great idea and made it happen! And finally, thank you to the dozens of neighbors who helped clean up the alleys for the tour, volunteered their time to help with the event and offered to show their cars and garages. We could not have done it without you. Thank you all for a very successful day!

2016 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

The 35th Annual tour will be held Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th. As always, we will need help the weekend of the tour with house sitting, guiding tours, lighting luminaries and decorating the streets. But we also need your help in the planning leading up to the tour. There will be a planning meeting on Wednesday, October 12th at 7:00 pm at Carrie Doyle’s (950 Beech Avenue).

If you are a homeowner, volunteer or interested in participating in any way, we welcome your involvement! If you can’t make the meeting, but want to help, please contact Carrie at (412) 337-6020 or

October Neighborhood Cleanup

The October neighborhood clean-up will be held on the last Saturday of the month, October 29th from 9:00 – 11:00 am. The focus of this month’s clean up will be on clearing and preparing the parklet in preparation for winter. For those who wish to garden, please bring your own gloves and tools. Meet at the AWCC office at 806 Western Avenue. Refreshments will be provided.

Questions? Contact Michael Shealey.