Laura's Long Island: Oheka

Diverse people, fabulous art, music, food, wine, and history. Why are Long Islanders loyal to their hometowns, and why do they stay? Tell me why you stay on Long Island.

As the tour docent at the famed Oheka Castle, I meet Long Islanders from all over our island. Many of them visit Oheka for the first time, even though they have lived here for years! As I reveal the unique history of this one time "Gatsby" party estate every day, I am amazed at how so many people have never heard of one of the wealthiest New Yorkers, Otto Herman Kahn (O -he- ka).

The estate was built in 1919 for 11 million dollars as a summer home and weekend retreat. And what a retreat it was! With 443 acres of sprawling equestrian trails and woodland, an 18 hole golf course, a 10 car garage for Otto's Rolls Royces, the most extensive greenhouses in the country at the time, tennis courts, an indoor lap pool, beautiful formal gardens designed by the Olmstead Brothers,  a working dairy farm, a race track and an airstrip!

Built to be fireproof by Kahn, the Fench Chateau style house had 127 rooms, 39 fireplaces and over 400 doors and windows. There were roughly 126 servants to care for the Kahn family of six. Many caretakers came to the estate when the Kahns were there for the summer, by way of train (Cold Spring Harbor Station) and walked across the golf course into a tunnel under the ground to access the kitchens and laundry areas.

Today, Oheka castle is the largest private renovation in the United States. The transformation to its former glory has been 29 years in the making. It is roughly 95% complete. They host fabulous weddings and parties (just like in the old days) and they are also one of America's great historic hotels.

Come visit one of our true remaining Long Island treasures. Visit www.Oheka.com for more information on tours.  I'll see you there!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Laura Bart April 20, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words. I do truly love Oheka and love Long Island and all it has to offer. I look forward to hosting your family and friends.
Mark Brendan Hussey April 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Hey Laura, I left a comment in this space back in February or early March....what happened to it? Looks like Patch's format has changed, and this is a beta version? At first glance, a nice improvement--but is there a way to access the older comments made here? I am ready to come visit and take the tour, btw--but meantime, would like to have what I wrote, as some of my old Walt Whitman High School pals had an interest in reading it. Thanks!
Laura Bart April 25, 2013 at 01:39 PM
You have to contact Pam Robinson @ Patch and inquire about the past comments. Thanks!
Neil Kelly July 16, 2013 at 02:44 PM
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/charlie-chaplin-doug-fairbanks-otto-kahn-photo Hi Laura, I was on today's tour. Here's what I found about the Fairbanks/Kahn/Chaplin photo.
Laura Bart July 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Thank you for joining my tour Neil and for the correct date on the photo! I appreciate it. Any other information you may have, please let me know and come and visit us at Oheka again.


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