Winfield Hall cost $9 million when it was built in 1917, which is almost $190 million in today’s money. The latest valuation had it at close to $20 million, which is understandable considering its dilapidated, partially-burned state, but there’s a chance for someone to get it much cheaper. On July 14, the estate will cross the auction block, with a starting price of $7 million. A steal, as we were saying.
Situated in Glen Cove in Nassau County, New York, Winfield Hall is the only marble house still standing in the Long Island area. It was built for Frank Winfield Woolworth of the Five and Dime retail giant, on a design by C. P. H. Gilbert, and completed in 1917. Described as a temple to himself, Woolworth didn’t get to enjoy it all that much, since he died about one year later. The mansion, along with the gardens, the greenhouses, the clock tower remodeled as a garage, and the 50+ rooms in the house are all haunted by his ghost.
The house itself has 12 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms, study rooms, library, ballroom, billiards room, formal dining room, a solarium, more than a dozen fireplaces, and perhaps even more secret passages connecting all these. It’s decked in marble throughout, with some rooms (once) featuring real 24K gold on the ceiling. The staircase alone is made of pink marble and is believed to have cost, back in 1917, no less than $2 million (more than $42 million in today’s money).
Perhaps more impressive than the intricate Colonial Revival style, the statuary pieces in the gardens, and the supposedly occult motifs that decorate the walls is the mansion’s story. It’s not just Woolworth’s ghost that haunts the place, but also that of his daughter Edna.
Heartbroken and supposedly blaming her father for it, she took her life in 1917 either at the Plaza in New York or the Marie Antoinette room in her father’s house. She’s been heard crying and whispering in the dead of night, and seen roaming around the halls and the gardens ever since. On more than a couple of occasions, she predicted residents’ incoming deaths by waking them up in the night and informing them they were about to join her “soon.”
Winfield Hall holds a very privileged position among the most haunted and famous houses in America. It’s not just architecturally and historically significant (it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979), but it’s also worth its weight in gold in terms of significance to urban folklore. More to our interest, it has incredible potential for a car collector with an eye for the eccentric and the extraordinary. Who is not afraid of ghosts.