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Diocese of Greensburg’s mansion in Hempfield to go on market

Joe Napsha
gtrbishophome080216
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
The Diocese of Greensburg plans to sell the former bishop's residence in the Maplewood Terrace neighborhood in Hempfield. Bishop Edward Malesic directed an evaluation of the property after he decided to live at the rectory at St. Paul Parish.

A stately house in Hempfield that three bishops have called home is being put on the market by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

The seven-bedroom, two-story brick house and stable on a manicured, wooded, 4-acre lot in the Maplewood Terrace neighborhood hasn’t been used since Bishop Edward Malesic was ordained and installed in July 2015. Malesic lives in the rectory at St. Paul Parish in the Carbon section of Hempfield.

“He found that more suitable to his needs,” diocesan spokesman Jerry Zufelt said Monday, adding that Malesic was accustomed to living in a parish rectory as a priest in the Harrisburg diocese.

Former Bishops Lawrence Brandt, Anthony Bosco and William Connare lived at the property, which is on a hill across Route 130 from Our Lady of Grace Church. Bosco and Brandt hosted diocesan events there, including large receptions on the grounds and small dinners in the house, Zufelt said.

The diocese has not set an asking price or signed with a real estate agent to sell the house, but Zufelt said the process soon “will start moving forward.”

The diocese bought the property in 1958 for $60,000. Its estimated market value now is about $477,660, based on application of Westmoreland County’s common level ratio, a formula used to determine a property’s true value.

The decision to sell the house was made after Malesic formed a committee tasked with studying the use of the residence and property, with assistance from real estate professionals.

Other uses for the property are limited because the area is zoned residential, Zufelt said.

“We have examined a variety of usages that would allow this property to remain in the hands of the diocese in a manner that could eliminate any costs of upkeep and ongoing maintenance. Unfortunately, none of these avenues were practical,” Malesic wrote in a letter to the diocesan priests.

Because the property is a residence owned by the diocese, it pays $8,623 in annual taxes to the county, township and school district. It costs the diocese a significant amount to maintain the property, though Zufelt could not say how much is spent each year.

“It’s a very large property and the building and grounds require a lot of upkeep,” he said.

Zufelt said he isn’t certain when the house was built.

When William A. and Kathryn Elliott bought the property in 1943 from Joseph L. Cote Jr., it included a brick house and stable, according to records in the Recorder of Deeds office. The Elliotts sold the property to the diocese.

No house was listed when Cote’s mother, Alma, bought the land in 1930 from the Maplewood Development Co. of Greensburg, where A.E. Troutman, owner of Troutman’s department store, was secretary.

By selling the bishop’s house, the Greensburg diocese is following what the Pittsburgh diocese did in September 2009 when it sold its 39-room mansion in the city’s Shadyside section for $2 million.

That 9,800-square-foot home, which was donated to the diocese in 1949, housed several bishops until Bishop David Zubik, like Malesic, opted not to live in it after he was ordained in September 2008. Zubik took an apartment at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].

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