|The grand entrance hall -- photo Brown Harris Stevens|
Woolworth commissioned mansion designer Charles P. H. Gilbert, responsible for Woolworth’s own house, to design adjoining residences for his three married daughters. Built between 1911 and 1915, the center mansion, at No. 4 East 80th Street and similar in style to Woolworth’s, was for his eldest daughter Helena Woolworth McCann.
|The three sisters' houses in 1916 with Helena Woolworth McCann's house in the center - photo NYPL Collection|
Lena, as she was popularly known, and her husband, lawyer Charles E. F. McCann, lived quietly in the French Gothic mansion with their three children, Constance, Helena and Fraiser. The couple was active in charity events and divided their time between the 80th Street house and their country estate, Sunken Orchard, in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
The interiors of the Manhattan house were filled with European artworks, antiques and Helena’s well-known collection of export porcelain. The entrance hall featured intricate mosaic floors, a massive stone fireplace and a grand staircase rising five stories below a stained glass skylight. On the second floor was the 35-foot drawing room with floor-to-ceiling windows, the dining room with its large fireplace and a solarium.
|Part of the second floor as it appears today -- photo Brown Harris Stevens|
|The staircase hall with its 14-foot ceilings -- photo Brown Harris Stevens|