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Pittsburgh Neighborhood Spotlight: Fox Chapel

February 15, 2017 | Helene McQuaide

Fox-Chapel-Pennsylvania.jpgFox Chapel, a leafy oasis in the busy Pittsburgh metropolitan area, is home to more than 5,000 residents. The peaceful borough is the ideal place for people who like to be close to the action but don’t necessarily want to live there.  

George Washington Was Here – Maybe

Twenty-one-year-old George Washington may have passed through Fox Chapel during a mission for the governor of Virginia in December 1753. Washington tried to persuade the French commander of Fort Le Beouf, located near Lake Erie, to leave immediately and turn over the fort to the British. The commander wasn’t impressed, and Washington soon began the trek back to Virginia via the Pittsburgh area. 

Despite the possible visit from the future President of the United States, the area wasn’t settled until the late 1700s. Fox Chapel was named after John Fox, a 19th century farmer who owned land where the Faith United Methodist Church now stands. In the 20th century, Pittsburghers began to build houses in the area, drawn to its suburban location and proximity to downtown Pittsburgh.

An Idyllic Bedroom Community

You don’t have to worry about smokestacks belching ash or loud music from the local bar when you live in Fox Chapel. There are no businesses in the borough, which makes it easy to get away from it all after a long day at work. Just a few minutes after exiting Route 28, you’ll find yourself on meandering roads and streets lined with oak, maples and pines.

Whether you prefer grand old homes with a sense of history or modern, minimalist houses, you won’t have any trouble finding a comfortable place to live in the borough. There’s an ample selection of homes with five bedrooms or more, in addition to a few townhome communities.

Fox Chapel is the perfect place for growing families who need room for the kids to play, but you won’t just find families here. Singles and empty nesters enjoy the spacious lots that offer plenty of space for pools and gardens. 

Quality Schools

Fox Chapel public schools are highly regarded and regularly rated among the best in the nation. The district was recently accepted into Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools because of its focus on computer science curriculum for grades K – 12 and its commitment to project-based learning.

The borough’s Shadyside Academy and Fox Chapel Country Day School offer a private education alternative. The Shadyside Academy campus in Fox Chapel is home to the Academy’s junior and senior schools. Although younger students commute to the school, high school students can board at the school if they wish. Fox Chapel Country Day School, located just across the street from the Academy, enrolls more than 100 students in grades Pre-K through 5.

Parks and Recreation

Whether you enjoy hiking or playing a few rounds of golf in your spare time, you’ll enjoy the recreational opportunities Fox Chapel offers.  Hundreds of acres in the borough are dedicated to parkland. Squaw Valley Park, Trillium Trail Park, Salamander Park all offer wooded trails that offer the perfect opportunity to get a little exercise and observe the abundant wildlife in the area.

Squaw Valley also offers tennis and volleyball courts, a playground, picnic shelters and restrooms. If basketball or baseball is your game, you’ll want to visit the fields and court at McCahill Park.

The Fox Chapel Golf Club features a Seth Raynor 18-hole golf course that will challenge even the most skilled golfer, due to its multi-tiered greens. It has hosted multiple tournaments and frequently makes the lists of the top golf clubs in the country and the world. In addition to golf, the private club also offers a swimming pool and clubhouse with adult, casual and family dining rooms.

Golf is also available at the Pittsburgh Field Club, the oldest sports club in Western Pennsylvania. After playing a round on the Alexander Findlay-designed course, you can also dine, swim, fish, bowl or shoot skeet at the club. If tennis is your game, you’ll want to become a member of the Fox Chapel Racquet Club. The club also offers paddle tennis and swimming.

Ample Shopping and Entertainment Options Nearby

Although there aren’t any businesses in Fox Chapel, you’ll find many shopping and entertainment options in nearby neighborhoods, such as Shadyside. Bars, restaurants and stores are clustered around two shopping districts in the walkable neighborhood. Whether you prefer shopping at J. Crew, Gap, Apple or Banana Republic or like exploring independently owned boutiques and restaurants, you’ll find plenty to do and see in Shadyside. After you finish shopping, you can stop by Trader Joe’s or Whole Food to stock up on a few necessities.

A Commitment to Maintaining the Community

Sooner or later, development takes over most places and turns beautiful natural areas into strip malls. You won’t have to worry about that happening in Fox Chapel. Local leaders are committed to preserving open spaces, preventing suburban sprawl and ensuring that the borough remains a comfortable, attractive place for all of its residents.

Garage door garbage pickup means that streets are never littered with unsightly trash cans. Trees play an important part in the ambiance of Fox Chapel. Preserving and protecting trees is the job of the Tree Committee, which approvals or denies homeowner removal requests.

Why Remodel Your Home in Fox Chapel

Remodeling your Fox Chapel home is an excellent way to increase your enjoyment of your home. Thanks to large lots measuring an acre or more, it’s easy to expand your living space with an addition. Whether you want to add a game room or an entire two-story addition, you’ll have ample room to extend your home without compromising your privacy.

You may have no plans to move, but if you want to sell your home eventually, home remodeling projects add value to your property and offer an excellent return on investment. This is particularly true in an area like Fox Chapel where home prices are among the highest in the region.

Are you interested in a Fox Chapel kitchen remodeling project, basement renovation or home addition? Contact us to find out how we can help you improve your property.



Borough of Fox Chapel: Home Page


Wikipedia: Fox Chapel


Fox Chapel Golf Club: Home Page


Fox Chapel Area School District: National Network of Innovative Schools


Tags: Fox Chapel, home remodeling, Pittsburgh Neighborhoods, Fox Chapel Golf Club

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