Publisher description for Winfield : living in the shadow of the Woolworths / Monica Randall.


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Monica Randall grew up on the Gold Coast of Long Island and was fascinated by the massive estates and their tantalizing stories. Millionaire F. W. Woolworth built Winfield, the grandest of its manors in the 1910s. On a clear day, you can see the New York City skyline from its balustraded roof, yet for nearly a century few have been allowed to enter its gates.

In the 1960s Monica was living in one of the fabled mansions built by a Five-and-Dime heiress. While there, she began a career scouting locations for movie she used many of the surrounding estates including Winfield. After a brief incarnation as a charm school, Winfield was closed and auctioned off. At the auction, Monica met a mysterious European businessman, who bought the house. After a whirlwind romance, they became engaged, and Monica moved in to Winfield, only to have her suspicions confirmed: Winfield is haunted. Amid magnificent gilded carvings and marble, a labyrinth of secret passageways, hidden chambers, and deserted tunnels help reveal the true nature of its eccentric builder.

Through exhaustive research and countless interviews, Monica gradually uncovered stories of the Woolworths’ sad past: the suicide of Edna Woolworth (Barbara Hutton’s mother), Woolworth’s obsession with Napoleon and the Egyptian occult, and the rumors surrounding the unsolved fire which burnt the first Winfield to the ground. This riveting memoir explores the culture and history of an era gone by, filled with enthralling stories of infamous scandals and breathtaking Gilded Age tales of New York society. Captivating and impossible to put down, this book will enchant readers everywhere.

Throughout the last fifty years the Gold Coast mansions were regularly razed for subdevelopments Winfield is the last of the marble palaces still standing.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Woolworth Estate (N, Y, )Glen Cove (N, Y, ) Biography, Randall, Monica Childhood and youth, Woolworth, Frank Winfield, 1852-1919 Homes and haunts New York (State) Glen Cove, Glen Cove (N, Y, ) Buildings, structures, etc, Haunted houses New York (State) Glen Cove, Long Island (N, Y, ) Biography