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Medaille sells historic president’s home for $1.2 million

A Buffalo ophthalmologist and his wife have purchased the former house of the Medaille College president on Lincoln Parkway, as the financially struggling school seeks to redeploy the sale proceeds to benefit its students.

Dr. Charles and Ellen Niles, through the REP Living Trust, paid $1.205 million to buy the mansion at 88 Lincoln, which had been occupied by former Medaille President Richard Jurasek, who retired.

The Nileses, who declined to comment, currently live in Williamsville.

Originally known as the Appleton House, the Mediterranean Revival-style mansion – with its massive facade, stucco walls, low-pitched tile roof and balconies with wrought-iron grilles – was designed by Boston architect Edgar Allen Poe Newcomb and built in 1903, according to the Buffalo Architecture and History website. It was a gift to Benjamin Appleton and his wife, the former Bessie Miller, from her father, George Miller. It was sold to Charles Criqui in 1929, extensively renovated and upgraded, and sold again to Bradley Hurd in 1949.

Medaille bought the six-bedroom, 7,460-square-foot home in April 2006 from Jeffrey Meilman for $975,000, and had used it not only as the president’s official residence, but also as the site of events for current students, alumni and friends of the school.

The school, located on Agassiz Circle, had indicated its intention to sell the home, which sits on just over a half acre of land, in May, when it announced the selection of Kenneth M. Macur, former Bethany College provost and dean, as its seventh president. The school said Macur’s contract did not include use of the historic mansion, and noted that Jurasek had bought his own home and would be moving out.

The sale of the property is part of the college’s long-term facilities plan, as officials seek to free up cash for reinvesting in the school, and trustees “believed that market conditions at that time were advantageous to offer the home for sale,” according to a statement from Medaille. Officials declined further comment.