Winfield Hall, the former Glen Cove home of F.W. Woolworth, who made his fortune off nickels and dimes, is for sale at a relatively low price for a mansion with its rich pedigree —$9.995 million.
Listing real estate agent Margaret Trautmann says the asking price is a steal for one of the last remaining Gold Coast mansions, but it takes into account that it would cost a pretty penny to maintain the 16.4-acre Crescent Beach Road property and to do a much-needed "complete overhaul" of the 30,000 square-foot Italian Revival home, which was built in 1916.
F.W. Woolworth, who lived from 1852 to 1919, became a household name for his signature five-and-dime discount stores located throughout the country, including on Long Island.
The Glen Cove property had been on the market for $20 million some years ago, Trautmann says, but the owner at the time, Martin T. Carey, who was the brother of New York Gov. Hugh Carey, decided not to sell. Carey, who died at 98 last year, would lease out Winfield Hall to schools and for TV and film shoots, Trautmann says, adding, "That’s how he could afford all his mansions."
Another previous owner was Richard S. Reynolds of Reynolds Wrap fame.
With 56 rooms, including 12 bedrooms, nine full and two half bathrooms, a ballroom, music room, solarium and library, the Woolworth estate has been the setting for such projects as Taylor Swift’s "Blank Space" video and the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce."
Winfield Hall is located in the Glen Cove school district.
Trautmann says interest in the property has been "enormous," despite property taxes being a hefty $250,000 a year. She says she already has five prospective buyers with plans ranging from storing their car collection to locating a boutique, spa or school at the site, which has limited commercial zoning.
An unsuccessful auction of Winfield Hall was held in July, when bidding was set to start at $7 million.
Many changes have been made to the estate over the years to accommodate its various uses, but most of its impressive features remain, such as a grand marble staircase in the main foyer that cost $2 million when it was constructed, a built-in organ, and a 17,000-square-foot carriage house.
"It’s an icon of the American dream for so many," says Denise Carey Bettencourt, the daughter of Martin T. Carey, of the site. She says her father purchased the property at auction in 1977 and used to call it the "Other White House."
Frank Winfield Woolworth, she says, was "the quintessence of anyone who came from meager means and dreamt of something bigger."