The Mesta Mansion
From Grime to Green – that is the goal of two local women who hope to transform the historical Mesta Mansion in West Homestead into a one-of-a-kind venue.
The Mesta Mansion is a 10,000-square-foot estate that dates to the late 1800s. It was originally owned by George and Perle Mesta, founders of one of the first major steel factories in the world, Mesta Machine Company. Perle was known far and wide as the “hostest with the mostest” for her lavish soirees. After George passed away, Perle eventually moved to Washington D.C. claiming the Pittsburgh social scene was not accepting of her. In DC she really shined, becoming close friends with Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, even becoming elected as the first U.S. minister to Luxembourg. Her life even inspired the hit Broadway musical “Call Me Madam,” which starred Ethel Merman.
Partners Yolanda Rodriguez and Kimberly Andrews have launched Riverway Lighthouse Estate, LLC in their effort to transform the property into a center for wellness, community, and events. Riverway Lighthouse’s goal is, “to be a beacon for the community on healthy living, conscious music, permaculture, affordable events, and an entrepreneur development hub.” The pair is currently seeking funds to make their dream become a reality. Their plans are ambitious, but certainly worthwhile.
First, they plan to convert the space to be more sustainable, including a grey water system and solar energy. Eventually they would like to build an “earthship” somewhere on the property as well. They also hope to restore the mansion to its former glory to function as a special events center. There are plans to include a holistic spa, as well as music and recording studios. Finally, they hope to convert the 1.5 acres of land into sustainable permaculture, including space for community groups to produce their own food, a greenhouse, and a community compost site. You can see a full plan for the space and donate to the cause on their Indiegogo campaign. Without your help, this commendable project may never come to fruition!