Monday, July 2, 2012

'Winfield Hall' Special Part 1

'Winfield Hall', the Frank Winfield Woolworth estate designed by C.P.H. Gilbert c. 1916 in Glen Cove.  Click HERE and HERE for more on the history of 'Winfield Hall'.  Photos courtesy of Eddie Crowley.  Many more to follow.







These photos were taken with expressed permission.  Winfield Hall is a private property with no public access.

23 comments:

The Ancient said...

Just one link --

http://www.trulia.com/homes/New_York/Pelham/sold/149645-216-Townsend-Ave-Pelham-NY-10803

(216 Townsend Avenue, Pelham Manor, NY. The site of Gilbert's death, October 25, 1952.)

magnus said...

There is a several degrees of crazy author who, a decade or so ago, wrote a book about Winfield Hall and her supposed "paranormal" experiences while living there. The one bit of the book that I found at all intriguing was her description of poking around the "Neptune" fountain at the end of the drive, discovering the water valves that fed it and turning them to discover that it was still in working order-some 60 years after Woolworth's death and after probably 50 years of inattention. For those of you who deal with old houses and ancient plumbing, that story is probably a surer sign of paranormal activity than Frank Woolworth's ghost sneaking up from behind and goosing you would be.

Security word of the day: Epowniom- A store that opened three weeks ago on Jobs Lane in Southampton selling gift and houseware items that absolutely noone needs. Will close at the end of the season to be replaced by a new store selling the same merchandise next season.

archibuff said...

Having read that said crazy author's book and the majority of it, if not all of it, is either the ramblings of a an absurd flaky mind or sheer genius to drum up book sales. Either way, that Neptune fountain makes for a magnificent view at the end of the circular drive. Love the view from the porte-cochere and as stated many times before, love Winfield's eclectic interiors, especially the wonderful stairhall.......and music room, and owners bathroom, and, etc.

Only wish the property was under better stewardship, with an owner who actually gave a damn about maintaining the place.

Old Grey Dog said...

Thank you, Ed Crowley ~ GREAT pics !!! Though it's not my favorite house I wouldn't kick it out of a shower, or a Neptune fountain either. About the above-mentioned author . . . twenty years ago, or more, someone who had dealings with her told me that she would don diaphanous nighties and have her picture taken while prancing around deserted estates ! Well, who wouldn't !!! ;-) Looking forward to more of Ed's pictures !!!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Magnus, here's hoping you haven't opened up to libel suits---we'll start a defense fund if you have.
Too funny about the fountain valves---and as those of us who live in summer colonies well know, your comment about the comings and goings of businesses is spot on. 'Gallery Today, Gone Tomorrow' is the saying up here.

Terrific pictures of a not-so-terrific house. It would seem that this place attracts madness---Mrs. Woolworth, certain authors, the current owner---to say nothing of the delusions it causes

The Down East Dilettante said...

'and who wouldn't'. Well, for those who care, there will be no photographs of me, cavorting through gardens in diaphanous nightgown, in my book. Nope. Nosiree.

magnus said...

Well DED,it might be a sure fire way to insure "best Seller" status for your tome, so you may want to reconsider. Especially if you wear a tasteful, diaphanous nightgown. or, better yet, a diaphanous nightgown appropriate to the style and period of architecture you will be highlighting in the photo.

archibuff said...

"Well, for those who care, there will be no photographs of me, cavorting through gardens in diaphanous nightgown, in my book"

Well then as of today consider my pre-publication order cancelled. In my delusion induced state, I would suggest a more suitable local fabric.....flannel

Old Grey Dog said...

Well ~ Down East . . "me thinks thou protests too much " !!! ;-)

Kellsboro Jack said...

.. well aside from cavorting in a nightgown and further exacerbating myths and fantasy lore in such a tome you may want to avoid using the distorted fisheye photography style in your follow up books.

Off topic but in case you are looking for an OW manor its being reported the sellers of one are motivated ;>

http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcellefischler/2012/07/02/motivated-seller-peter-madoffs-6-million-gold-coast-mansion-languishes-on-the-market/

It doesn't appear to have retained the details and features I'd expect of 1936 design and construction.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Nope, the Madoff house seems to have lost interiors to gut renovation, and a Greenwich condo standard of taste.

We've rather unkindly lampooned an author here for eccentricities, when she also deserves accolades for writing the first book about the Long Island estates, giving many their first glimpse beyond the iron gates, for starting a location business that helped put much needed funds into some of the properties,and for heightening preservation awareness back when gilded age estates were seen as far less worthy than now.

We should save our brickbats for Martin Carey aka Carey the Barbarian, and his ilk, not for those with good intention.

archibuff said...

Speaking for myself, as one who purchased her books and attended her lectures, she unfortunately did all that good with wild exaggerations, out right falsehoods and made up stories and if you ever attended any of her quasi-lectures or discussions, her information is usually ridiculously inaccurate and misleading and that significantly undermines her crediblity, since most of the attendees listening to her believe her word for word. She looks at a her slides and gives out wrong information over and over again, many times completely wrong houses and details and then goes off onto a 15 minute story about a "haunted" attic in the subject home where ghosts chased her.

I dont know who beat whom to the publishers office, but I always credited William Shopsin, a profesor at Pratt Institute with his book "Saving Large Estates" for opening up the iron gates and seeing how many old structures could be useful and re-adapted, including many LI mansions. Published 1979.

magnus said...

Aww DED- you're just crabby 'cause we're making fun of the thought of you in a diaphanous ANYTHING.

Actually, you make a very good point. There is no question that the authoress of whom we speak did a great deal to heighten awareness of these wonderful old places.

I know that I have mentioned it before, but when we moved to the 'hood 45 years ago, Winfield Hall was the veritable epicenter of learning for the Grace Downs Charm School. Even in my youth, I questioned whether charm could be taught. Evidently, Grace Downs felt that the answer was an emphatic Yes!. While the authoress of who we speak found a trunk of Edna Woolworth's Poiret gowns when she explored the abandoned greenhouses in the 1960's, the only thing I discovered 10 or so years later were stacks of old, plastic airline meal trays. (Grace Downs also taught the skills of stewardessing, I think for the smaller, regional airlines that didn't maintain their own "Hostess U.").

l'il gay boy said...

Despite the architectural nitpicking, I've always admired this house as an embodiment of the era & lifestyle...and I'm still in awe that Reynolds Wrap was created here!

Perhaps DED would consider swapping that for the diaphanous gown?

Old Grey Dog said...

Archibuff mentions "Saving Large Estates" ~ A wonderful book, from 1977 actually, put out by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. It also covers Westchester and Dutchess counties and a bit about the Adirondacks as well, besides Suffolk and Nassau counties. It was the Forerunner and wonderfully insightful. Tip of the hat to authors William C. Shopsin and Grania Bolton Marcus. After all these years it still gives me pleasure to take it from the book case.

Anonymous said...

The flag-pole between the portecochere and the Neptune fountain is somewhat irksome. And sad to see the ol' Neptunes arms are no longer in tact.

HalfPuddingHalfSauce said...

Arcibuff/OGD thanks for the insight $12 plus shipping at Amazon.







The technical criticism is generally witty and scholarly sounding - the personal seems disrespectful and mean-spirited.

The Ancient said...

The technical criticism is generally witty and scholarly sounding - the personal seems disrespectful and mean-spirited.

I tried to write some to that effect earlier, HPHS, but I was unable to do it nearly so well as you have.

The Ancient said...

some = something

(Good night.)

The Down East Dilettante said...

HPHS--exactly what I was trying to say, only briefer, more concise, and to the point.

And speaking of brief, under current conditions, my garb would have to be a diaphanous muu-muu. Little known personal fact, speaking of Diaphanous Dancing Dilettantes: I took adult ballet for two years. By far the largest person at the barre, I stood out like the proverbial 800 pound gorilla, both for my height and my singular lack of grace. I was forever bouree-ing when I should have been plie-ing, and I seem to have invented seventh, eighth and ninth positions in addition to the traditional five. You folks be very careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

I've known that particular authoress for almost thirty years and you're >all< correct.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for everything you do!
Also thank the owners for these views. I've always wondered what had happened to this house.
Glynn in GA.

Cindy Rosa said...

I have been in that mansion many times as a child. The Music room so beautiful, My best friend had her birthday party there. Gimma,AKA Grace Downs, Grad daughter was my best friend.Great Memories. By the way it was haunted by a red head girl in a night gown, Maybe woolworths daughter.