The normally sedate Woolworth mansion in Glen Cove was abuzz with activity Friday as HBO filmed a miniseries starring Kate Winslet at the estate.

The location director asked neighbors in the more modest surrounding homes -- such as Nancy Roenfeldt -- if they could use their front lawns to place rain towers that would simulate a stormy night on the roadway. Roenfeldt said she was happy to agree.

"It's nice to see this place used," Roenfeldt said, coming over to peek through the archway marking the entrance to the mansion's long driveway, where "Mildred Pierce" is being filmed. (The crew will be covering up the name "CAREY" that's carved into the archway because the home is owned by Martin Carey, brother of the former Gov. Hugh Carey.) Vintage cars arrived Friday for use in the 1930s drama.

The house came briefly on the market this year for $19.5 million.

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Roenfeldt asked the crew if she could buy one of the old-fashioned streetlamps that the crew had set up along Crescent Beach Road near the mansion. "I asked if I could buy them because they're so beautiful," she said. The answer a disappointed Roenfeldt got: "No, because they're props."


Newsday photo / Beth Whitehouse