A fairy “godmother” oversaw the transformation of this Mount Washington Beauty

Sometimes a thorn in your side can become a rose – enhancing everything around you.

Take the beauty emerging from 404 Eureka St.

When Godmother Properties took over the Mount Washington home in 2018, it appeared poised for foreclosure. The two story house had white vinyl siding that had turned gray and in front was a street level garage with rickety wooden doors. Inside, the 110-year-old home’s former beauty had been lost through years of neglect.

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The owner of Godmother Properties (who requested anonymity) designs and oversees the construction of her projects. Their newest, high-end contemporary design is just a short walk from Grandview Park and overlooks the downtown skyline. Listed for $625,000 (#1576082, Nila Porter, Berkshire Hathaway, The Preferred Realty, thepreferredrealty.com), is open by appointment.

The fairytale story begins when the owner tells the godmother that she found the four bedroom, three and a half bathroom house by accident.

“The first house I ever bought was foreclosed; My intention was to renovate and rent it out,” she says. “It just so happened that both neighbors on either side saw what I was doing to the corner house and they wanted out of their houses and I bought them too.”


The home makes an impressive first impression thanks to new cedar planking against a dramatic black background.

Cedar also plays an important role in the modern, European-inspired pergola the owner designed over the new outdoor area. It has black metal posts, a graphic cedar fence and cedar inserts on the ceiling to diffuse the light. The one-car garage has since also been expanded into a beautiful structure with plenty of street appeal.

“I fell in love with cedar,” says the owner.


Inside, the house was gutted and a new, modern open plan was installed. The living room has a fireplace wall clad in slate, tile and finished plywood. The bar is a cast polished concrete.

“The contractor helped me incorporate art niches on each side of the chimney,” says the owner.

The home’s new hardwood floors morph into black octagonal tiles as they enter the kitchen. A large kitchen island with quartz countertops seats six under a linear chandelier.


Across from the island, the dining area has a built-in shadow box wine bar with custom lighting.

“I do a lot of research on the internet; This inspiration came from a real wine rack that was being sold online,” says the owner. “The contractors were very intuitive and brought my design to life when adding the lighting and poles to hold the wine bottles. Wine fridge has been integrated into the kitchen cabinets.”

The owner has also converted a porch formerly used as a laundry room into an extension of the kitchen. The new addition resembles an open butler’s pantry, but with a row of windows. Adding to its appeal are contemporary lighting and custom shelving, along with space for prep, serving and storage.

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A pair of French doors lead to the flat outdoor area. Also on the first floor is a powder room with gray geometric panels.

“I’m a geometric girl, as you can see,” says the owner. “These were the best attachment panels that hide the seams.”

The unique staircase has hidden storage compartments and extra stable steps that lead up.

“You are very unusual; There are three sets of hand cut butcher log wood for the steps,” says the owner. “Even all the handrails are custom made.”


The two bedrooms on the second floor each have their own bathroom. While the second floor’s original floor plan featured three bedrooms, it has been reconfigured so that the smallest of the three has been split into a new laundry room and space for one of the ensuite bathrooms.

The master bathroom features a geometric diagonal tile layout complemented by striking black finishes.

The drama continues in the second bedroom and bathroom, where there is a glass shower door with a black grille. The bedroom has a board and batten arrow design painted anthracite grey.

“This house was built by one of my finest crews. The high level of craftsmanship is absolutely amazing,” says the owner. “The crew, Trademark Designs, these are artists.”


The newly designed third floor also shines in a shine worthy of Cinderella.

“The third floor didn’t exist,” says the owner. “It was divided and we created a dormer window to add the bathroom.”

This bathroom features a deep freestanding bathtub installed in the alcove alongside wicker tile, custom polished concrete shelving and an LED swirl light. An oval lattice vanity mirror is enhanced by a double spear light fixture and black vanity and bathtub faucets.


The newly added third level bedrooms have hardwood floors, closets and French doors leading onto a private balcony. There is also new HVAC, plumbing, electrical and central air.

The home’s new owner will also have the option to purchase the lot adjacent to the home, which is for sale through the City of Pittsburgh’s Side Yard Sale program.

Since its renovation, the home has become a key property in the immediate area, spurring renovations from other homeowners who, according to the owner, have been inspired to improve their own properties.

“The neighbors are amazed; They couldn’t believe that we would build a house of this scale in this area,” she says. “They take a lot of my design ideas and implement them in their own four walls. It’s so great to see that.”

Drawing on her years of experience in the area’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property offers an insight into unique and historic homes currently on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to tell the story of a special home in the Pittsburgh area. And four times a year, Hot Property will provide Pittsburgh Magazine HOME with an in-depth look at the area’s real estate market, tracking home prices and sales and detailing where to find the hottest properties. Rosa can be reached at [email protected]

Around: Mount Washington
Population: 14,567
Airplanes, Trains & Cars: A 20 minute drive to the airport. Daily transportation via Pittsburgh Regional Transit, including two historic climbs. Street parking.
Schools: City of Pittsburgh (pghschools.org)
Area: Towering 367 feet above the riverfront with sweeping views of the downtown skyline, Mount Washington has been named one of the top three cityscapes in the world. Overlooks, inclines, and a panorama that stretches from all points to the top of town and the headwaters of the Ohio River amazes visitors who hike to the top. Grandview Avenue is filled with cliff-top restaurants including Altius and LeMont, while the church of St. Mary on the Mount keeps a watchful eye on the city below.


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