806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

The 34th Annual Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

Friday, Dec 11 and Saturday, Dec 12, 2015

We are once again planning for the Christmas Tour, which will feature six neighborhood houses in addition to Calvary United Methodist Church. Once again, Holmes Hall will be open to guests as well as those who would like to tour the train museum. Tour-goers (and neighbors) can do early holiday shopping at our shop in Calvary Church.

Much work remains to be done:

  1. Two homeowners have graciously volunteered their homes, but we need four other homeowners (or renters!) Please consider opening your home so that we can continue to host what is our major fundraiser. Without this tour, our neighborhood’s projects and opportunities to impact the surrounding area will be diminished.
  2. Those who have volunteered for past tours will soon be contacted by our sub-chairs. Please respond (positively!) to their emails and calls.
  3. New neighbors are encouraged to consider how they will be able to help with the tour. This is a great event to be involved with. Some ideas:
  • Put your house on tour.
  • Offer to help homeowners on tour with decorating and housesitting during the tour.
  • Be a tour guide (instructions and scripts provided)
  • Greet our visitors at Calvary Church where the tour begins
  • Help our party chair to organize (and perhaps cook or bake for) the volunteer party held on Saturday night
  • Be on the tour committee–or just attend the meetings–and give your ideas and suggestions.

Please contact any of us for more information:

Trish Burton (
Gloria Rayman (
Cathy Serventi (

Christmas Tour Wrap Up

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

After 33 years, our event continues to be the start of the Holiday Season for people all over the Pittsburgh area. This year we hosted over 1700 visitors on the regular, brunch, lunch, dinner and train tours. For more details, please attend the January Civic Council meeting on Tuesday, January 13.

A huge thank you to everyone who worked diligently to make this happen. If you have comments/suggestions for next year’s tour, please send them to

Reminder: Street Sweeping and Closures

Street Sweeping Friday Morning

The City street sweeper will be around Friday morning. Please move cars so he can do his job.

Street Closings on Friday and Saturday

We will have over 1600 visitors in Allegheny West for The Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour. Our visitors will be walking the streets and alleys of our neighborhood. For the safety of everyone, the following streets will be closed to traffic and parking from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday, 12/12, and from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on Saturday, 12/13:

  • Beech Avenue, from Allegheny to Brighton Road
  • North Lincoln Avenue, from Galveston to Brighton Road
  • Galveston Avenue, from Buttercup Way to Dounton Way
  • Rope Way, from Buttercup Way to Chapel Way

Off-street parking will be available in The Babb Co. lot on the corner of Galveston and North Lincoln Avenue (enter from Chapel Way), the CCAC lot on Ridge Avenue (across from the ramp to the Fort Duquesne Bridge), and the Smart Solutions lot (on the north side of the 800 block of West North Avenue)

Your cooperation is appreciated. Please move your car off the street during this event.

An Old Allegheny Christmas

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

The 33rd Annual Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour will be held on Friday, December 12 from 5:00 to 11:00 pm and Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Tickets are selling very quickly. Dinner, Brunch and Lunch Tour tickets are sold out. Regular Tour tickets are still available after 6:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers to purchase theirs today!

The Tours

As always, the tour will feature 6 homes on the regular tour, plus 4 homeowners hosting Brunch, Lunch or Dinner.

Homes open for the regular tour are:

  • 950 Beech Avenue – Carrie Doyle
  • 926 Beech Avenue – Trish and John Burton and family (This home will be decorated with the help of The Urban Gardener, our North Side garden center.)
  • 834 Beech Avenue – Jessica and Bill Murphy
  • 913 Brighton Road – Carole and Bob Malakoff
  • 849 North Lincoln Avenue – Hal Dixler and Nick Duerlinger
  • 719 Brighton Road – John DeSantis (Also, the Toy Train Museum will be open here. Tickets to view it may be purchased on-line in advance or at the door for $12.)

Hosts for the Dinner, Brunch, and Lunch tours are:

  • 929 Beech Avenue – Linda and Joe Iannotta (Linda will be preparing all of the food for the brunches, lunch and dinner.)
  • 844 North Lincoln Avenue – Cecile and Carl Canales
  • 1021 Galveston Avenue – Debra and John Lantz
  • 913 Beech Avenue – Shirley Mehring and Howard Brokenbek

These homeowners need your help. Offer them a helping hand to decorate, welcome guests, or serve food.

Toy Train Museum

Something new this year at The Toy Train Museum at Holmes Hall … available for sale, the newly released book, Greenberg’s Guide to Lionel Standard & 2-7/8 Gauges, 1901-1940. This is a 432 page edition with 1,364 illustrations, many of them from the John DeSantis collection. The perfect holiday gift for the toy train enthusiast.

Signed copies are $100.

Committee members and homeowners have been working since September to put this event together. Now there are several things you can do:

Volunteer Opportunities

Tour guides are still needed – contact Doug Sprague,
Housesitters are also needed – contact Carole Malakoff,


Fill a trash bag with leaves and other “stuff“ from your curb and street. Sweep leaves out to the street. City street sweepers will be around the neighborhood on Wednesday and Thursday before the tour. Please move cars from the street so they can do their job.

Street Closings

Beech Avenue (both blocks), Galveston (from Dounton Way to Buttercup Way), the 800 block of North Lincoln Avenue, Rope Way (from Buttercup Way to North Lincoln Avenue) and the 800 block of Buttercup Way will be closed to traffic from 4:00 to 11:00 pm on Friday and from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on Saturday.

Off-street parking is available at:

  • the CCAC lot on Ridge Avenue, just across from the Fort Duquesne on-ramp
  • the Babb Inc. lot on the corner of North Lincoln and Galveston Avenues
  • the Smart Solutions lot on the north side of the 800 block of West North Avenue

Volunteer Party

All volunteers are invited to help celebrate another successful tour in Allegheny West, on Saturday evening, December 13 from 9:00 to 11:00 pm at the Smart Solutions facilities on the 800 block of West North Avenue. Our tours have been so successful over the years because of the effort and spirit that you, the volunteers, have put forth. Let’s do it again this year!

The 2014 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

Everything you need to know about this year’s Christmas Tour, and more…

This year’s tour is Friday, December 12, 5:00 – 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 13, 10:00 am-8:00 pm. 

In addition to regular tours ($30), there will be brunch and lunch ($60), and dinner tours ($120).

Ticket Sales

Tickets are selling briskly. Regular, brunch, lunch and dinner tours are about 1/3 sold out. We are expecting a sell-out again this year, bringing more than 1500 visitors into our small neighborhood. To purchase tickets or for more details, check our web-site,

The homes on the regular tour

950 Beech – Carrie Doyle
926 Beech – Trish and John Burton and family
834 Beech – Jessica and Bill Murphy
913 Brighton – Carole and Bob Malakoff
849 N Lincoln – Hal Dixler and Nick Duerlinger
719 Brighton – John DeSantis

Hosting brunch and lunch

913 Beech – Shirley Mehring and Howard Brokenbek
1021 Galveston – Debra and John Lantz
844 N Lincoln – Cecile and Carl Canales

Hosting dinner

929 Beech – Linda* and Joe Iannotta

*Linda is doing all of the food for the dinner, brunches, and lunch again this year. 

The Holiday Gift Shop

Again this year, The Holiday Gift Shop will be in the basement of Calvary Church, the start of the tour, so guests can shop before going on tour. Arrangements will be made to hold purchases for guests while they tour. For more information about the shop, contact:

Martin Fuess

Train Museum

The popular Toy Train Museum will, once again, be open at Holmes Hall. DVDs of the train exhibit will also be for sale ($15). They sold out last year so, if you want to purchase one, do so now via Amazon:

 Tin Plate Legends in Action, Part 3

Street decorating

We will be decorating our streets on Saturday, December 6, starting at 9am. Volunteers will be bunching greens in the Serventi/Wilson garage on Dounton Way, just off Galveston.


Also on Saturday, the 6th, please join your neighbors and help pick up litter around the neighborhood. If each of us fills one trash bag with litter, our streets will be litter-free.

We need your help!

There are many opportunities to volunteer. On Saturday, the 6th, come out for a few hours to help bunch and hang greens for the neighborhood lamp posts. During the tour, you can be a tour guide, a conductor at the Toy Train Museum, a greeter at Calvary Church, a house-sitter for a homeowner on tour. You can also help light luminaria or set up the street closing barricades.

Holiday Party

All volunteers are invited to our Holiday Party. This year it will be at the Smart Solutions facilities, the old Hipwell building, on the 800 block of West North Avenue, on Saturday, December 13 starting at 9pm.

Decorating by The Urban Gardener

Our local North Side garden center, The Urban Gardener, will be decorating the Burton home for the tour.

Post Gazette story

Look for a feature on Trish and John’s home in the Post Gazette on Saturday, December 6.

To volunteer

Contact the following coordinators:

Tour guides

Doug Sprague

Church greeters

Brandon Williams

Party helpers

Gloria Rayman 

Lighting luminaria

Chris Fetter

Toy Train Museum conductors

Cecile Canales 

Housesitters and everything else

Carole Malakoff 

Street Closings

To insure the safety of all, the following streets will be closed to traffic and parking on Friday, the 12th from 4pm to 11pm and on Saturday, the 13th from 9am to 11pm:

  • the 800 and 900 blocks of Beech Avenue
  • Rope Way from Buttercup Way to Western, and from Western to N Lincoln
  • Galveston Avenue from Dounton Way to Buttercup Way
  • N Lincoln Avenue from Galveston to Brighton Road

Please make arrangements to park elsewhere. We will provide information on off-street lots available closer to the tour weekend.

The next Tour Committee meeting will be on Thursday evening, November 13 at 7:30 pm at 913 Brighton Rd. Everyone is invited to attend.

Christmas Tour Committee Meeting

Thursday evening, October 16 at 7:30 pm | 913 Brighton Road

Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting and participate in the planning process, especially if:

  • you are a homeowner on tour or would like to be on tour (we still need 1 or 2 more homeowners to open their homes for the regular tour and brunch or lunch groups);
  • you are a homeowner who is hosting a brunch or lunch;
  • you are chairing a sub-committe: greeters, tour guides, street decorating, tickets, mailing, party, trains, etc;
  • you would like to volunteer for a task.

If you would like to help but cannot attend, please contact Carole Malakoff: (412) 321-3612

Our Christmas Tour, 2014

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

My issue of the Victorian Homes Holiday issue arrived last week. Our Christmas Tour is listed on “The Spectator” page again this year. This means that potential visitors from all around the country will pick up the information about our tour. Last year we had visitors come from the tri-state area, New York, and as far away as California.

I titled this story Our Christmas Tour because the funds raised from this event benefit all of us who live and work in Allegheny West. The funds raised from this event go toward neighborhood beautification, remediation of problem properties, social events, etc. The Tour Committee is asking everyone to GET INVOLVED.

Of course, we will need help the weekend of the tour with house sitting, guiding tours, lighting luminaries, and decorating our streets. Right now we need homeowners to step forward and offer to open your homes for the tour. Many of us have done this over the years. Some have done it every year, for 32 years. We need some of you who have not participated before to do so. Please DO NOT sit back and think that it is not your responsibility or that “someone else will do it”. It is the responsibility of all of us to see that our neighborhood continues on an uphill mode.

So-o-o, if a member of the Tour Committee asks you to open your home this year, please say, “Yes this is the year that I can make a big contribution to my community”. Yes, it is stressful, but help is out there if you need it, and it is a great ego booster. Visitors always offer compliments on the work you’ve done.

Contact Carole Malakoff:

(412) 321-3612

The next meeting of the Tour Committee is on Thursday evening, October 16 at 7:30 pm at 913 Brighton Road. Everyone is invited to attend. Come and find out what you can do to help!

Now On Sale! Tickets for the 2014 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

Victorian Christmas Header

You’re Invited: The 33rd Annual Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

After 32 years, our Christmas Tour continues to be the most popular in Western Pennsylvania. People from all over our area return year after year to start their holidays. It has become a holiday tradition for many. If want to reserve a particular tour time, make plans now.

Guided Tours Available

Friday, December 12, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 13, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Special Brunch, Lunch and Dinner tours also available. Get a group of friends together and order your tickets and order your tickets now. Brunch, Lunch and Dinner tours sell out quickly.

Purchase Online or – New This Year – By Phone

Learn More & Buy Tickets Online   Order By Phone: (888) 718-4253