Crosley Estate grants rare opening to public

- The Powel Crosley Estate in Manatee County is usually just for weddings and other special events, but for only the third time, the estate is being opened for the public to tour through Thursday, March 8.

The large home, known as Seagate, was built in 1929 by Powel Crosley Jr, a broadcasting pioneer who manufactured some of the first inexpensive radios and TV's beginning in the 1920s.

He also owned WLW, the most powerful radio station in the country.  Crosley even got a soap company, Proctor & Gamble, to sponsor a serial radio program -- and the name was born.

"People started calling it a soap opera," explained David Wick of the Crosley Foundation.

Crosley was also instrumental in baseball's first-ever night game at Crosley Field in Cincinnati in 1935.

Crosley built the mansion in Manatee County for his wife, Gwendolyn, who suffered from tuberculosis.  He sold the estate in 1939 when she died. Powel himself died in Cincinnati in 1961.

Visitors can tour the home and see dozens of antique Crosley radios and TVs on display. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's free, but donations are accepted.

LINK: For more information visit www.powelcrosleyestate.com.

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