135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, NY 11743. The historic gem, grand hotel and estate of Otto Herman Kahn, is located on the Gold Coast of Long Island’s north shore in Cold Spring Harbor. It is known as Oheka Castle.
Upon entering the grounds of the estate, follow a sleepy path of homes dispersed throughout winding roads, to a grand wrought iron gate. Visitors are only allowed entry if an appointment has been made and the hotel has your name on a seemingly exclusive list. And then, like a scene from Sleeping Beauty, the gates open to a long driveway of sand and small stones. The sides are lines with sculptural trees in varying hues of green. You have now gained entry to the castle.
More of an “estate” than a “castle,” Oheka ranks with the best of them on many lists of castles not only in New York, but all over the world. The second largest private home in the United States, (The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina takes the top spot), Oheka Castle has become a popular storybook setting for charity events and weddings alike. From the gardens resembling those of King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, to the lavish ballroom and elegant suites for guests, Oheka Castle is the perfect place for a wedding. My wedding.
Ever since I was little, I have dreamed about getting married. More so the actual wedding than the legally binding contract that so many people seem to break these days. Yes, I was up at 3:30 am ET for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Yes, I have a wedding binder that I have kept since I was 14. Yes, I want to get married at Oheka Castle. No, I do not have the funds right now and yes, everyone thinks I am crazy. But to be honest, I really don’t care.
While I still have some sort of emotional attachment and obligation to get married in a church (St. Patrick’s Cathedral would be ideal, but highly impossible), Oheka Castle has everything I could want, minus the church. Aside from the financial burden, that is the only feature, or lack there of, preventing me from wanting to get married at such an estate. The history, the beauty, the level of elegance and integrity is breathtaking and highly commendable. I never wanted to get married in a hall. Never wanted to walk into a bridal store and pick my dress off the rack when another girl can walk right in after me and pick the same one. Do not ask me where or when this air of nobility and a longing for a luxurious lifestyle came into play. I do not know. But after going on a tour of Oheka Castle, I felt that part of my fate was sealed. Good luck trying to find a better place for me to get married. And good luck to my future husband, with the bill.
The Duchess of New York