Long Island Mansions Guide

My unofficial guide to fine country house living.

Winfield

Location: Glen Cove

Built: 1916-1920

Built for: F.W. Woolworth

Architect: C.P.H. Gilbert

Rooms: 56

Acres: 16

Guided Tours: No

Winfield is the Glen Cove country house built by F.W. Woolworth of five and dime fame.  The name Winfield comes from Woolworth's middle name Frank Winfield Woolworth. The mansion cost 9 million dollars to build. It wasn't accessible when I was there, but I did get a chance to stroll the grounds and peak in some windows. Everything about this place is on a grand scale. An arched gate signals the entrance to the estate. A short curving drive brings you to the main entance approach to the house. This is a lawn about a football field in length. On the opposite side of the lawn facing the house sits is a massive stone fountain featuring King Neptune. A definite highlight of the grounds. The house itself is quite a sight. The main entrance hall boasts a marble staircase which cost 2 million dollars to build. I would love to get a closer look at the ballroom. From what I could see, it was over the top. A giant window overlooking the rear gardens is framed to look like a gigantic mirror. Another interesting room is the solarium which I was able to get a pretty good picture of.

The west gardens have definitely seen better days. It was a multi-tier garden. Now only a few levels remain and then disappear into dense growth. Scary!! The rear gardens are overgrown, but you can still see the remnants of what used to be. It appears to be a series of mazes formed by bushes framed by a series of pergolas. Not a place to spend an entire day, but definitely an interesting place to see.

It has been said that Winfield is haunted. Sounds of a woman crying during the night were reported in the Marie Antoinette room, organ music mysteriously playing and a woman in a blue gown haunts the gardens . There is some strange history connected to the Woolworth family. The original mansion on the site mysteriously burned down which prompted Woolworth to build Winfield. Woolworth was said to dabble in the occult, his wife suffered from dementia and his daughter, Edna had committed suicide. 

You can read more about Winfield in the book Winfield: Living In the Shadow of the Woolworths by Monica Randall.

  


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