Historic Structures

John F. Singer House Mansion, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Date added: November 20, 2013 Categories: Pennsylvania House Mansion

John F. Singer was a partner with Alexander Nimick in Singer-Nimick & Co., iron manufacturers. The house was completed in 1869 at a reported cost of $65,000. Originally part of a large country estate in the small village of Wilkinsburg (now included within the Pittsburgh city limits), the house and chapel stand alone at the center of a residential area bordering on an urban commercial district.

Occupied by the Singer family until the early 1880's, the house stood vacant for a time before being used as a bachelors' club, known as Dixon Manor. In the 1920s it was purchased and split into a two family apartment.

"The house, completed in 1869, was known as 'the most pretentious and elegantly appointed as well as exquisitely furnished individual dwelling within the borough limits.' Workmen were brought from England to do the wood and marble work. Special marble - a different color for each room - was imported from various countries. Also imported were the crystal, porcelain and brass chandeliers, which still remain in the house. Besides the main building, the Singer estate had a boat house and a separate private chapel, [According to the same source, Singer "dredged a lake - 125 feet, wide and eight feet deep - and planted vineyards,- orchards, and elaborate gardens] The chapel is now a garage, and the lake and gardens went., into building lots decades ago." (Pittsburgh. Post Gazette Sunday Magazine, April 2, 1961).