Age of 131 School Road


    Exterior and interior architectural features of 131 School Road are consistent with construction between approximately 1830 and 1855. Information on the Stewart family, who owned the land on which 131 School Road stands between 1796 and 1868, strongly suggests that the house was built for Uzziah Stewart between approximately 1830 and 1840.

    The house at 131 School Road was built in the Greek Revival style. The Greek Revival style was the predominant architectural style for homes constructed in southwestern Pennsylvania between about 1830 and 1860. Greek Revival features of 131 School Road include the house's low-pitched roof and its centered front entry, with multi-light transom over sidelights, and the cornerblocks and dentil trim that ornament the entry.

    Original interior architectural features of 131 School Road are also consistent with construction between the 1830s and the 1860s. These included the house's slender, unornamented handrail, newel post and spindles, and its four-panel doors. The use of wood pegs to fasten floor joists in place, visible in the basement of 131 School Road, was common in construction of houses in the Pittsburgh area prior to the Civil War. The handrail, spindles and newel post of the kitchen stairway at 131 School Road appear to have been installed between approximately 1910 and 1940.

    Greek Revival houses built in the Pittsburgh area beginning in the 1850s tended to display the influence of the Italianate style, which would take the place of the Greek Revival style around 1860. Italianate brackets below box gutters and gables were the most common Italianate feature applied to Greek Revival houses. The lack of any Italianate features at 131 School Road indicates that the house was constructed prior to the mid-1850s.

    Uzziah Stewart was among eight children of William Stewart, who acquired property that included the site of 131 School Road in 1801. William Stewart died in or before 1827. Uzziah Stewart began to acquire his siblings' individuall/8 interests in the Stewart farm property in 1827, and continued until 1838 or later.

    Uzziah Stewart was born in 1790 and died in 1852. In 1827, when he began to acquire his siblings' interest in the family farm property, Stewart was 37 years old, married, and had at least one child. His two youngest children, Jane E. Stewart and Uzziah Stewart Jr., were born in 1833-34 and 1837-38. Although architectural features of 131 School Road are consistent with construction of the house as late as around 1855, it appears that Stewart would have been much more likely to have had 131 School Road built in the 1830s, when he was in his forties and his family was still growing.