Sunday, June 7, 2009
One can't help but marvel at the attention to detail at the Oheka Castle on Long Island. Built in 1919, this 109,000 square foot home is the second largest private residence in the United States, and is a prime example of the ostentatious wealth of the 1920s. Once a summer home for financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn, its 127 rooms have hosted many lavish parties, both then and now. Last week, James and I wandered the manicured grounds and took in the French-inspired architectural details when we attended an elegant wedding on the site. Designed by Gold Coast architects Delano and Aldrich, the building fell into disrepair in the middle of the 20th century and was completely renovated starting in 1985. The building's use of materials-- slate, marble, stone-- is matched by its formal gardens originally designed by Olmstead Brothers, a firm founded by Fredrick Law Olmstead of NYCs Central Park fame. Now a luxury hotel and catering facility, it is hard to believe that an individual family once called this mansion home.