Long Island Mansions Guide

My unofficial guide to fine country house living.


Location: Cold Spring Hills

Built: 1914-1917

Built for: Otto Herman Kahn

Architect: Delano & Aldrich

Rooms: 127

Acres: 443

Guided Tours: Yes

What can I say about Oheka? It's freaking huge. Oheka is the second largest private residence in the United States. The name Oheka comes from the name of the man who built the castle. Otto HErman KAhn. You probably have seen the gate house on Jericho Turnpike. It's now a real estate office that looks like a medieval fortress. The hundreds of acres of the original estate are now most of the development of Cold Spring Hills. The grounds once contained a private airstrip, private rail road spur, a golf course (it's still there, but no longer part of the estate grounds), tennis courts and formal gardens. The formal gardens remain, but have been seriously downsized.

The main house is built like a French Chateau and is a colossus. Standing in the entrance courtyard gives you an indication of it's tremendous size. Inside you will find an entrance hall wirth a grand horseshoe staircase to set the mood. Next you go up the stairs to the reception hall and other public rooms. Since the mansion is now used for weddings and other events, only a few rooms remain true to their original state. The ballroom is one such room and it is incredible. Must've been some good parties there. The other original room to note is the library. I think I can fit my whole house in there. It's a very light room that leads to the formal gardens. The walls are actually plaster done in a faux finishing technique to make them look like wood. Kahn feared fire and made the entire house fireproof. Another notable area is the indoor swimming pool. Originally meant to be an orangerie, it was converted to an indoor pool that opens up to views of the sprawling lawn.

There have been many renovations to the house as it is now a catering hall, hotel and spa. You can see Oheka on the USA Network show Royal Pains as the main residence of the main characters. The show is supposed to take place in The Hamptons and there are some manipulated shots of Oheka by the beach, but rest assured the house remains in Cold Spring Hills. 





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