130-year-old Open Hearth Estate on block
Age and financial problems are forcing a retired Jeannette physician to part with one of his most cherished possessions.
Dr. William Monsour is selling The Open Hearth Estate, a 130-year-old Williamsburg Colonial home tucked away on 68 acres in Fairfield Township. The asking price is $1.7 million, according to real estate listings.
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank foreclosed on the property this month after Monsour defaulted on the mortgage, according to court records. They show Monsour owes nearly $761,000.
"I'm 81 now, and it's like pulling teeth to get my kids to go up there," Monsour said of the property, located about 7 miles northeast of Ligonier Borough. "I have three homes, including one in Florida. My income isn't what it used to be. I went out there on a Friday and it was hard for me to return on Monday."
The two-story frame home was built in 1879 and has 4,800 square feet of living space, Monsour said.
Its two fireplaces were built from stone cut from a local quarry in 1812. It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a chapel, swimming pool, tennis court and a restored caboose at the rear of the property.
Monsour said steel executive John J. Grady of Gary, Ind., purchased the house in the 1960s when he became a member of the Rolling Rock Club. At a party, his wife was dancing with Benjamin Fairless, a former CEO of U.S. Steel, who jokingly asked her what she wanted for Christmas.
"She said a caboose," Monsour said.
Several weeks later, two flatbed trucks pulled up to the property and unloaded a vintage 1899 railroad caboose. Monsour uses the caboose as a bathhouse for the pool.
Monsour purchased the property in 1971 for $15,000 after assuming the balance on a mortgage from Betty Jane Grady, whose husband had died, according to county real estate records.
Grady originally named the estate Open Hearth. Monsour changed the name to Open Heart to reflect his cardiology practice in Jeannette.
After undergoing five surgeries on his neck and back in recent years, Monsour said he decided to retire.
He's had issues with the IRS and in 2006 was ordered to pay more than $348,000 in taxes, according to federal court records.
"The place is very close to my heart. I couldn't afford to keep it up. I still love the place. I hope the right people buy it," Monsour said. "It's pretty nice. It still is beautiful. It's in prime shape."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Murrysville man draws on experiences in starting SAT prep academy
- Geyer helps revive Scottdale theater that bears family name
- Man snatches purse behind mall
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suspends in-store tastings
- Megan’s Law offender in Greensburg arrested when girl, 13, found hiding in shower
- Hookah bar on tap for Greensburg
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- Westmoreland celebrates Americans with Disabilities Act’s anniversary
- Ex-Milwaukee archbishop told he can’t spend final days at St. Vincent Archabbey
- Fire damages Derry house
- Fire damages Derry home, leaves family with ‘about nothing’