Oheka Castle
Oheka Castle, also known as the Otto Kahn Estate, is located on the Gold Coast of Long Island's north shore, at Cold Springs Hills, Suffolk County, New York. It was the country home of financier and philanthropist Otto Kahn. Built by Kahn between 1914 and 1919, it was and remains the second largest private home in the United States, comprising 127 rooms and over 109,000 square feet (10,100 m 2), as originally configured. The Oheka name is an acronym of its owner, Otto Hermann Kahn.

History
In 1905, a previous country home of Kahn's, Cedar Court in Morristown, New Jersey, was virtually destroyed by fire. In constructing Oheka, Kahn swore this home would not burn, so he had his architects, Delano and Aldrich, design the building out of steel and concrete, making it one of the first totally fireproof buildings. In constructing the home, two entire years were spent building an artificial hill on which to place it, giving it views of Cold Spring Hills and Cold Spring Harbor. Kahn commissioned the Olmsted Brothers to design the estate's grounds, centered on a formal axial sunken garden in the French manner, of clipped greens and gravel in parterres and water terraces, screened by high clipped hedging from the entrance drive that ran parallel to the main axis ( illustration, left). Other features of the 443 acres (1.79 km 2) complex included an 18-hole golf course, one of the largest private greenhouse complexes in America, tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool, a landing strip, orchards, and stables. Several years after Kahn's death in 1934, the estate was sold and used for several purposes, including as a retreat for New York City sanitation workers. In 1948, Eastern Military Academy purchased the castle and 23 acres (93,000 m 2) of its property, bulldozed the gardens, subdivided the rooms and remained until the school closed in 1979. For the next four years, the building remained empty, during which time over 100 documented arson attempts occurred, all of which the building survived, demonstrating Kahn's success in building a fireproof building. As of 2010, the golf course and stables are a part of the Cold Spring Country Club and the greenhouse complex operates as Otto Keil Florist. Much of the remainder of the property was developed into single-family homes. In 1984, Oheka was purchased by Gary Melius, a Long Island businessman. Melius undertook the largest private residential renovation project in the United States to restore the house, which was in a state of almost total disrepair, and recreate the gardens from the original Olmsted plans. In 1988, unable to continue financing the massive project, Melius sold the property to Hideki Yokoi for $22.5 million. Ten years later, following a lawsuit, the building passed to one of Yokoi's daughters and her husband. They were unable to sustain the property themselves, so Melius reacquired it under a long-term lease and later re-purchased the estate, operating it as a weddings and events venue, luxury hotel, and conference center. The estate also offers mansion tours. Celebrities who have been married there include Kevin Jonas and Joey Fatone. Oheka served as partial inspiration for Gatsby's estate in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby . In the 1941 film Citizen Kane , Oheka was used in some shots to portray the fictional Xanadu. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Building Activity

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