Family feud over Wilpen Hall in Sewickley Heights heads to court
A historic estate in Sewickley Heights is at the center of a lawsuit filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court over the preservation of a portion of the exclusive neighborhood.
J. Brandon Snyder, John C. Oliver III, William P. Snyder V and Yasodhara Arbelaez Snyderfiled the lawsuit on Monday against William P. Snyder III and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, a nonprofit historic preservation group.
William P. Snyder III is the father of plaintiffs J. Brandon Snyder and William P. Snyder V, according to court documents.
They argue that an agreement with the foundation to operate a portion of the family estate, Wilpen Hall on Blackburn Road, for public and commercial use breaches a contract to preserve the land as part of a 1969 land agreement meant to protect the semi-rural character of the secluded community.
Oliver and William Snyder III could not be reached for comment. Daniel McLane, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the complaint “lays it out and speaks for itself.” Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation declined comment.
The main residence on the property was built in about 1900, according to Allegheny County real estate records and contains about 18,000 square feet of livable space with 23 rooms.
The main home is not the focus of the lawsuit, but rather another building, referred to as “The Little House” in court documents.
Portions of the film “Foxcatcher” starring Channing Tatum were filmed in 2012 at the estate, valued at $2 million, according to county real estate records. The movie is set to be released later this year.
Wilpen Hall also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Industrialist William Penn Snyder, founder of Shenango Furnace Co., had the estate built for his family at the turn of the century.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
- Newsmaker: John Malone
- Two Brentwood council members change minds and don’t resign, council approves the third resignation
- Board members bring business attitude to nonprofit August Wilson
- Animal welfare groups see opportunities in dialogue about Vick signing
- 3 from Allegheny County charged with Medicaid fraud
- Man critical after being shot in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood
- Penn Hills fire displaces 10
- Port Authority’s plan for car-free communities slow to bear fruit
- Solarize Allegheny powers up with more communities
- Shaler man charged with homicide, abuse of corpse in McKeesport woman’s death