Mansion of former Conseco exec to be featured

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Another mansion once owned by a Conseco Inc. executive will serve as the next year’s Decorators’ Show House.

Donald and Patricia Gongaware’s French-style estate in Westfield will get an interior makeover from designers as part of the annual fund raiser staged by St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild.

In 2006, the guild used the Carmel mansion formerly owned by Conseco co-founder Stephen Hilbert.

The Gongawares surrendered their 59-acre estate to Conseco to settle a legal battle over loans Donald Gongaware borrowed to buy Conseco stock but never repaid. Gongaware was chief operations officer of the Carmel-based insurance company in the 1990s.

Conseco sold the house in 2005 to a company that plans to build custom homes surrounding the Gongaware’s mansion.

The house is sprawling, according to details provided by the guild. It encompasses 18,695 square feet, boasting 19 rooms and 15 baths. It also has a seven-car carpeted garage and five formal gardens.

Since 1907, the guild has contributed the funds it raises to Wishard Health Services, the county-owned hospital near downtown Indianapolis.

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