CHARLESTON—The Diocese of Charleston has put the Broad Street mansion it owns up for sale for $6.25 million. The sale was first announced in the Charleston Post and Courier during the first week of March.
The property sits on two-thirds of an acre of land and includes a main house built in the antebellum era and a carriage house, with both buildings measuring almost 11,000 square feet. It also includes a large garden and 14 parking spaces, according to the real estate listing.
The listing agent for the house is Handsome Properties of Charleston.
The diocese originally purchased the property in 1957 when it was still a single-family home, and converted it into five residential apartments. These were then changed to offices, which were used by diocesan employees until they transferred to the new pastoral center on Orange Grove Road in West Ashley in 2015.
John Barker, chief financial officer for the diocese, said the sale of the property at 119 Broad Street was first proposed when the decision was made to build the pastoral center.
He said the current plan is for proceeds from the sale of the mansion and the property to go toward paying down the debt incurred by building the new facility.
“Quite honestly, by doing this the diocese is being a good steward of its resources,” Barker said. “The Broad Street property is very nice but we were only able to house a third of our employees there. Now we have a place that can house the number of employees we need. When it was decided we all needed to come under one roof, we had to put together a financing plan for the new property and part of that included selling this property.”
There has already been a good deal of interest in the property, but as of press time there is no contract for its sale, according to Elaine Fowler, director of real estate and corporate counsel for the Diocese of Charleston.
The decision to sell did not come lightly, according to Fowler, who said it came about only after long detailed discussions between Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, the diocesan finance council and the College of Consultors.
“Part of the thought process of building the new pastoral center was a knowledge that there would eventually be a need to sell certain properties, and one of those was 119 Broad Street,” Fowler said. “The decision was not made hastily. The diocese at this time basically has no need for the property.”
Since the opening of the pastoral center, office space and some other rooms in the mansion have been used by the Allegro Charter School of Music, and the carriage house was converted to two apartments used periodically by visiting priests and other guests.
119 Broad Street is currently zoned for a single-family residence, and any new owner would have to obtain approval to change the property’s zoning designation. Changes to the exterior would have to be approved by Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review.
According to historical records, the Broad Street mansion was first built in 1803, was renovated around 1900, and has been referred to as the Morton Waring House. It takes its name from the original owner.
Photo, Diocesan Archives: Property at 119 Broad Street.