Woolworth Estate Catches Fire


Last week, a historic mansion sustained extensive fire damage on Crescent Beach Road, a blaze that demanded the attention of 100 firefighters from seven departments, according to officials.

The fire broke out just before 11 a.m. at the Woolworth estate, at 77 Crescent Beach Rd. in Glen Cove, and took about 90 minutes to get under control. According to Det. Lt. John Nagle of the Glen Cove Police Department, the fire started in a downstairs room in the east wing of the mansion.

“We received the call at approximately 10:52 a.m. from a Glen Cove firefighter who happened to be plowing the estate at the time,” said Nagle. “We are still investigating the fire, but we believe the fire was electrical in nature. There was extensive damage to the east wing and a lot of water damage throughout the mansion. Some irreplaceable items were lost during the fire. Unfortunately, the beautiful ceilings, walls and trim that were created in 1916 can never be replaced. I would estimate the damage to be in the millions of dollars.”

The 25,000-square-foot mansion, known as Winfield Hall, was built in 1916 for Frank Winfield Woolworth, founder of the five-and-dime store, and sits on a 16-acre estate consisting of the main residence, a large garage with remodeled living quarters, a main entrance arch with the name “Carey” engraved, two greenhouses and various landscape features including a tea house.

In 1979, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is currently the home of Martin Carey, brother of former New York Gov. Hugh Carey, who has lived there since

1978. The owners were not home at the time of the fire, according to police.

The mansion has been the backdrop for scenes in films and TV shows, including the HBO mini-series “Mildred Pierce.”

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