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History

Springwood's history is a history of natural beauty and people passionate about enjoying and preserving it. It began when a modest wooden-frame farmhouse was built circa 1870 so that it nestled quietly in the wooded hills outside of Pittsburgh. In 1940, the small house and 60 acres of land were purchased by Herbert Hoechstetter. The land became his laboratory and home to his thriving landscaping and gardening business, as he became a horticultural expert known throughout western Pennsylvania. At the peak of his business, he and his staff landscaped for prominent clients including Mellon Bank, Westinghouse, and Pittsburgh National Bank.

Just as he had cultivated the beauty of the land, Mr. Hoechstetter infused a natural beauty within his family's home. In the 1950s, he added modern amenities including a garage and office area, updated the bathrooms, and enclosed a side porch. He tore down an old barn on the property and used the support beams in the house's ceiling and as a mantle for the fireplace. Rungs from a ladder, pounded into the mantle, served as pegs to hold his collection of German beer steins. He covered the dining and sitting room walls with cherry wood paneling, custom cut from a forest in Butler, Pennsylvania.

On the outside of the house, he added a sandstone facade that was quarried from the Blairsville area, and crafted a driveway with cobblestones he acquired from the town of Wilkinsburg when the street car tracks were removed.

After Mr. Hoechstetter's death in the early 1990s, the current owners heard about the beauty and diversity of the trees on the estate from a mutual friend. Even in its empty and overgrown condition, they could see its potential, and would bring to it their own love for nature and the land.

Thus began a three-year renovation process, turning the Hoechstetter home into Springwood--a warm and inviting place they share with others for business events and private celebrations.


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