Many speak of the surviving Hudson Valley estates, the Millionaire’s Row Mansions of Fifth Avenue, and even Prospect Park‘s Litchfield Villa. The rarely talked about slew of mansions on Long Island, however, includes Oheka Castle, an extensive chateau only around 35 miles from Manhattan in Huntington, New York.
Commissioned in 1917 by Otto Hermann Kahn, Oheka Castle has rarely strayed from luxury throughout the last 104 years. After Kahn purchased 443 acres of land in Cold Spring Harbor for one million dollars, he later spent eleven million dollars to build the castle, or $158 million today. Architects Delano & Aldrich worked with landscape architects Beatrix Farrand, John Charles Olmsted, and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to complete the castle in 1919.
Kahn passed away in 1934, prompting the need for a new owner for Oheka. After his family sold the French-style chateau in 1939 to the Welfare Fund of Sanitation Workers, the castle had multiple owners until it was abandoned in 1979. These various owners used the house as a retirement home for sanitation workers, a radio operator’s school for the Merchant Marines, and a home for the Eastern Military Academy,
Today, the castle operates as an event venue and rents out hotel rooms. Those who want to get married at Oheka, tour the historic grounds, or spend a night in the lavish interior can do so while living a life of luxury.
1. Oheka Castle is the second-largest private residence in America
The Oheka Castle grounds boast 109,000 square feet of land. Standing in the middle of the 443 acres that Kahn purchased, the castle offers an elegant French garden that opens into a forest of Linden trees. With all of this acreage, Oheka is the second largest private home in America, after the Biltmore estate in North Carolina built by George Vanderbilt.
Although Oheka Castle stands on significantly less acreage than Biltmore, it still houses 127 rooms, a ballroom, a formal dining room, and a greenhouse. Those who wish to tour the grounds can do so for $30 as an adult and $10 as a child.