946 Western Avenue

946 Western Avenue


946 Western Avenue is a three story brick house occupying a 30′ wide by 120′ deep lot located in the Allegheny West section of Pittsburgh.

946 Western Avenue was built between 1875 and 1877 by Francis Torrance, president of the Standard Manufacturing Company. Torrance, a native of Ireland, had previously served for many years as manager of the Schenley Estate. Torrance lived at 946 Western Avenue until his death in 1886.

Francis Torrance’s son Francis J. Torrance, who also worked for the Standard Manufacturing Company, lived with his family at 946 Western Avenue through 1918.

946 Western Avenue was known as Torrance House-Home for Blind Women between 1928 and the early 1960’s.

946 Western Avenue was originally known as 86 Western Avenue.

Detailed information on the ownership history, age and first owner of 946 Western Avenue follows.


May 18, 1875

Elizabeth F. Denny of the city of Pittsburgh to Francis Torrance of the city of Allegheny, $6,250. This deed and subsequent deeds conveyed a 30′ wide by 120′ deep lot located on the northern side of Western Avenue, 76′ east of Allegheny Avenue, in the Second Ward of the city of Allegheny. The lot was known as Lot 4 in Block 2 in a plan of lots laid out by Mrs. Elizabeth F. Denny. The lot was part of a larger tract of land situated in the Reserve Tract opposite Pittsburgh.

James O’Hara had left the property to his daughter Elizabeth Denny in his last will and testament, recorded in Will Book Volume 2, Page 101.

(Deed Book Volume 341, Page 37)

December 22, 1928

Mary R.D. Torrance, widow, of Glen Osborne, to William D. George of Sewickley, Horace Baker of Glen Osborne, and George E. Alter of Springdale, trustees, $1. This deed established a trust for the establishment and maintenance of 946 Western Avenue as Torrance House-Home for Blind Women.

(DBV 2370 P 376)

November 15, 1962

Francis J. Torrance Baker and Louis Willard Jr., successor-trustees, of the city of Pittsburgh, to Joseph T. and Hermine L. Hudon of the city of Pittsburgh, $15,000.

(DBV 4031 P 465)

August 6, 1975

Hermine L. Hudon, widow, of the city of Pittsburgh, to Ronald P. Wosher, Clifford B. Schultz Jr., William W. Lang and Kenneth R. Rader of Allegheny County, $24,000.

(DBV 5513 P 131)

October 24, 1977

Ronald P. and Linda Wosher, Clifford B. Schultz Jr., William W. Lang, and Kenneth R. Rader to Robert W. and Marlies B. Kiser, Irwin W. and Barbara H. Templeton, as joint tenants, $54,000.

(DBV 5857 P 587)

October 3, 1990

Robert W. and Marlies B. Kiser and Irwin W. and Barbara H. Templeton of the 22nd Ward of Pittsburgh to Harold R. and Elizabeth Keeler of the 22nd Ward of Pittsburgh, $40,000.

(DBV 8349 P 629)

April 16, 1992

Harold R. and Elizabeth Keeler to Allegheny City Restoration, a corporation, $46,000.

(DBV 8697 P 187)

Age of the House

Available information indicates that Francis Torrance and his wife Jane had 946 Western Avenue built between 1875 and 1877.

An 1872 plat map of the Allegheny West area shows that the lot on which 946 Western Avenue stands was undeveloped. The May 1875 sale of the lot on for $6250, at $1.74 per square foot, was comparable to sales of other lots in the area at the time and indicates that 946 Western Avenue had not yet been built.

Subsequently, the 1877 Pittsburgh city directory listed Francis Torrance as living on Western Avenue near Allegheny Avenue for the first time.

An 1882 plat map of the area indicated that 946 Western Avenue had been built.

Allegheny County mortgage records contain no record of any loan taken to finance construction of 946 Western Avenue.


The Torrances

Pittsburgh city directories, U.S. census records, and biographical materials provide information on Francis and Jane Torrance, the first owners of 946 Western Avenue.

Supplementary Material

The following materials accompany this report:


A Researched History
By: Carol J. Peterson

all photos by Chris Siewers, unless otherwise noted