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When all is said and done... a spooky story is born

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kath

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Many years ago when I was young, I was told my first ghost story by my brothers. As the story went, young kids went down a particular road to an abandoned house to have a party, and none returned... They were found by the classmates who didn't go to the party, dead, in the house, - some force had splattered and stuck them to the walls...

Needless to say, it was probably done so I would have nightmares. (didn't happen)

I don't know if there was even any real story that was even in part something to be a foundation to that story, beyond people said strange things happened back that way. UFOs etc. In a way, I am curious, but, I don't want to explore. I really, really, don't.

Moving forward many years later, when I went to college there was a particular building that belonged to two familys

The problem is, the story has been retold so many times, no one really knows what the truth is, *however*

certan truths remain

1867

Byars, Alexander married Wood, May (fact)

some time later they had a daughter, who grew up, married and they built the house for the two familys. (fact)

An event occured that caused a renovation of the house which included the physical separation of the house, placing walls between the buildings, to the effect that the only way to the other side was A. through the serverts quarters in the attic, , b, going outside, or c, through the common kitcen area passage ways. (fact)

enter the presence of the ghost...

Most of the stories that are out there regarding this place involve a maid/ nanny and a child. The child dies, and the maid is hung,

Her location is problomatic, some of the stories have her hung in the stair well, *just really can't be done in that house as there is nothing to attach from the cealing, *unless* its from a rail, the main staircase goes from the the center and splits to both the left and right. the rail posts for this are perhaps 2x2. and really wouldnt be in there strong enough to support someones body.

during the tour that I took years later the person who lead us around pointed out the skylight and said that her body was hung there- (Which was more plausable as the room had rafters which would have supported the body)

Speculations have abounded as to why the young woman took her life, from adultry that was discovered, to guilt, and even murder.

Why people are sure there is a haunting.

Well, its the sounds you hear. Running water where there is none, the sounds of footsteps, the creak of the boards, and voices. *note yes, I have stood in the bathroom and heard the water running, with none present.* Strange lights happen, and while the security guards have checked the place, they still see it.

One story has the parents going to a party, leaving the young maid in charge, the child wanders out, is run over by a carrage, and in her guilt she hangs herself

other storys have the husband having an afair with the maid.

*something* happened to that family, and back then, divorce wasn't possible. it would stand to reason that she would move back with her parents, leaving him the other side of that house.

Below is a pretty decient discripton of the house, and a link to a will.

I will post more info as I find it.

kath

Byers-Lyons House

The steel pipe manufacturer Alexander M. Byers originally built this house in 1898. The 90-room mansion, originally a double house for Byers and his daughter and son-in-law, is now the student center for Community College of Allegheny County.

The firm of Alden and Harlow designed this double house for Alexander M. Byers and his daughter, Mrs. J. Denniston Lyons. The architectural style is unique in the city. The interior style of the Byers’ side of the house is high Victorian, in contrast with the Lyon’s side which is clearly Edwardian. At the turn of the century the art collection of A. M. Byers was one of the finest in Allegheny and Pittsburgh. The Community College of Allegheny County presently uses this building for their administrative staff. The college has shown dedication and commitment to preserving both the interior and exterior of this significant structure.

The Byers-Lyons House (901 Ridge Ave.) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Byers-Lyons House is situated in the southeastern corner of Ridge and Galveston Avenues on Pittsburgh's north side. The house is an L-shaped plan and is three and one-half stories with a steeply pitched hipped roof. It is actually two houses that are joined together to give the illusion that it is one dwelling. The plan creates an entrance courtyard, an architectural motif rare in Pittsburgh. Collectively, the houses have ninety rooms and fourteen bathrooms.

The Byers-Lyons House is a variation of the late nineteenth century Chateauesque style with Romanesque and simple French and Flemish Renaissance elements. The height and profile of the building is increased and enlivened by tall stepped chimneys and gables.

Each house has a verandah in the style of a Romanesque cloister. It consists of corner pairs and an alternating arch motif of large semicircular arches and shorter, narrower arches which are supported by Doric-type columns on low plinths. This verandah's side elevations consist of one large semi-circular arch and a classical balustrade between the span at the floor level. The roofs are flat, with intricately designed balustrade.

The three-bay center section of the northeast elevation projects slightly. Directly above is a block course and a dormer with a pitched roof. The facade of the dormer, in the Flemish Renaissance tradition, has a flat-topped, stepped pyramidal facade. The profile of the stepped sections is curved. Each step is further articulated by a projecting coping course. The window is a rectangular single pane sash window. The other dormers are all variations of this motif; the chimney motifs are similar.

The windows are all rectangular, in single, double, and triple groupings. On the northwest elevation at the third story level is a four-part stained glass window. The entire bay of the southwest elevation bows outward and each story has tripartite window groupings. The northeast elevation consists of tripartite window groupings on each story.

Brownstone blocks trim the facade of the building, which are mainly Pompeian brick, creating a polychrome surface texture. The arches of the verandahs are decorated with a pattern of alternating brownstone and contrasting voussoirs. A similar pattern is used around the windows. Courses of brownstone run across the facade at window lintel and sill levels. The corners of the building have brownstone quoins.

In the courtyard are fine wrought metal gates in the style of the French seventeenth century, notable for their execution.

An interesting feature of the house is the ingenuity with which their servants quarters are fitted together, using a back staircase in common.

On the interior of the Byers-Lyons House is a fine early Georgian style drawing room. Although it is a reproduction, it is remarkably true in its faithfulness to the original style.

The Byers-Lyons House is in good condition but needs minor repairs The brownstone has spalled badly. The house is currently used for offices by the Community College of Allegheny County.

Significance

The Byers-Lyons House is one of the few remaining millionaire mansions left in Pittsburgh. Like the other mansions along Ridge Avenue, it was built as a "town house" and occupied a site in a closely built-up urban environment. The house was built for Pittsburgh industrialist Alexander M. Byers, his daughter, and her husband, J. Denniston Lyons. Byers manufactured wrought iron and galvanized pipe; Denniston was president of a banking and brokerage house. The house cost $500,000 to build plus $90,000 for the lot.

The designers of the Byers-Lyons House, Alden and Harlow, were one of the most prominent architectural firms during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In both plan and style, the Byers-Lyons House exhibits design subtleties. While double houses are not uncommon, the single dwelling effect is unique in Pittsburgh. High Victorian Chateauesque style has been subdued by the inclusion of Romanesque and simple French and Flemish Renaissance elements. The simplification of architectural elements is also evident in the L-shaped plan and basic rectangular mass of the house.

The Byers-Lyons House is well situated on its urban site, its courtyard plan is almost unique in Pittsburgh, and nineteenth century eclectic stylization has here been reduced to the subtle articulation of the entrance court, windows, and gables. The style expresses the style of late Victorian Pittsburgh while anticipating modern architectural form. In this respect it is an important part of the architectural continuity of Pittsburgh and merits preservation.

Reference

Van Trump, James D., and Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr., Landmark Architecture of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh: History & Landmark Foundation, 1967.

***

I found a will relevent to the estate. Due to its lenght, I'm only going to post the URL

BYERS v. MCAULEY, 149 U.S. 608 (1893)


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