As a Grace Ormonde Top Wedding Destination, Oheka Castle has set the stage for countless weddings featured in Wedding Style magazine over the past two decades. Located in Huntington, New York, the French-style chateau is unlike any other as it brings a quintessential sense of European grandeur and elegance to Long Island; and it has often played host to Hollywood stars, dignitaries, and royalty. This year, Oheka Castle celebrates another incredible milestone – a century of history, lavish parties, and love stories. Visitors are welcome to join the 100 year celebration.
In 1919, Oheka Castle was built by Otto Hermann Kahn in the middle of a sprawling 443-acre plot in Cold Spring Harbor. The land was originally purchased in 1914, and two years were spent simply building the hill that would provide the foundation for the castle, also making it the highest point in Long Island. The financier and philanthropist spent an estimated $11 million ($158 million in today’s currency) on the castle’s construction, hiring famed architects Delano & Aldrich, Samuel Yellin for the ironwork, and Beatrix Farrand to design the iconic formal gardens.
The original building consisted of 127 rooms, 39 working fireplaces, the grand staircase, ballroom, formal dining room, and a library that once held a secret passageway amongst the bookcases. To keep the property running smoothly, Otto Kahn employed 126 full-time servants, and Oheka Castle was soon the hot spot for incredible celebrations throughout the roaring twenties. One of the most monumental celebrations was when Kahn’s daughter, Maud, was married on June 15, 1920 and became the first Oheka bride.
After Otto Kahn passed away in 1934, the estate went through several transitional periods, from serving as a retreat for New York sanitation workers, to being purchased by the Eastern Military Academy in 1948. During that time, the gardens were bulldozed, the walls were painted over, and Oheka eventually spent several years as an abandoned space when the school went bankrupt 30 years later.
It wasn’t until developer Gary Melius purchased Oheka Castle in 1984 that the arduous rebuilding process finally started, with the intent to preserve the authenticity of the estate and restore it back to its original glory. Custom-made duplicates of windows were created, handcrafted details were painstakingly refinished, specialists were brought in to restore the plaster mouldings of the library and ballroom, and even the formal gardens were recreated based on the Olmsted Brothers’ original drawings – including the eight reflection pools and three fountains.
Today, after $40 million in restorations, it’s not only couples who are welcome to celebrate love surrounded by the splendor of Oheka Castle. Tours are available to the general public as well, so anyone can come and take in the grandeur of the second largest private residence ever built in the United States. For those who’d like to sample a true life of luxury, OHK Bar & Restaurant is available for delectable dining, and guests can even check in to one of Oheka’s 32 sumptuous guest rooms and suites.
Oheka Castle is a member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Join in on the 100 year celebration by paying homage to the country’s most luxurious stately home. Special mansion tours are available throughout 2019, which includes a guided tour of the estate and gardens, a collectable 100 Year Celebration Coin, and a signature cocktail in the OKH Bar & Restaurant. For the ultimate date night, Oheka is offering a special weekday 100 Year Celebration package for two. This includes an overnight stay in a chateau room, $100 gift card for the OHK Bar & Restaurant, mansion tour, collectable Oheka bag and book, and a commemorative centennial coin.