Saturday, September 19, 2015

OHEKA Castle, Huntington, New York

1917 castle built by Otto HErmann KAhn ("OHEKA"), investment banker and railroad magnate.  When RR spur reached Huntington, he built a 200-ft tall hill (tallest man made hill on Long Island) to perch his mansion modeled after château de Fontainebleau.  It is the second largest privately owned manion in USA (Biltmore is largest). Otto Kahn is the face of Mr. Monopoly, the board game.

The mansion was designed by Delano & Aldrich.  After Otto Kahn died in 1934, the estate changed hands several times, serving as a retreat for New York sanitation workers and a government training school for Merchant Marine radio operators. In 1948, the Eastern Military Academy bought OHEKA, bulldozed the gardens, subdivided the rooms and painted over the walls. After the school went bankrupt 30 years later, OHEKA stood abandoned, except by vandals who set numerous fires over 5 years.

In 1984, developer Gary Melius purchased OHEKA and the remaining 23 acres that surrounded the estate and began the painstaking challenge of restoring the Castle to its original grandeur.

man made hill evident from vantage point of front lawn

Linden trees are window motif after Kahn's hometown in Germany

image that inspired Mr. Monopoly

Sycamore allee

Charlie Chaplin room

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