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Group of doctors buys Czech Castle

When it was last occupied, the Czech Castle

When it was last occupied, the Czech Castle in Islip was Nico at the Gatsby Mansion restaurant, but it's been vacant for a year and a half, vandalized and dirt-covered. Photo Credit: All Island Realty

A group of doctors has paid $1.6 million for the 2-acre property known as the Czech Castle in Islip.

The South Shore Neurologic Associates plans to preserve the three-story building, built around 1871, said Charles Burke, the company's chief operating officer. The medical business has four Long Island locations but had searched nine months for larger quarters for its Bay Shore operation.

"It's an amazing building," Burke said. "I have a vision for it to be beautified."

The deal closed Wednesday, and the office move is expected in a year or so.

With a round wing topped by a dome, the house was built by a wealthy American and later used as a hotel, speakeasy and in recent times, two restaurants, said Bill Collins, who researched his listing as the broker-owner of All Island Realty in Bay Shore.

When it was last occupied, the property was Nico at the Gatsby Mansion restaurant, but it's been vacant for a year and a half, vandalized and dirt-covered.

The family that owned it for decades tried to find buyers that would suit Islip Town officials, which saw historic value in the house and did not want "radical reconstruction," Collins said. "We had so many people with specific plans with what to do with it, and most of them would not fly with the town."

Burke saw the value, too. Stained glass windows, seven fireplaces, three-floor mahogany staircase, stained glass ceiling over the bar, mahogany wainscoting and more. The purchase seemed like fate, because he and doctors sometimes dined there for business meetings, and the first time Burke saw the place, he said, he thought "spectacular."

Burke said it'll be difficult balancing preservation with medical needs, such as privacy and floors that must be easy to clean, not the wood floors in much of the house.

For now, there's little certainty on what's original and what is not, but for the chief operating officer, that's the fun part of rehabbing.

He said the new owners plan to hire artisans to restore the interior, including the hand-painted, mosaic tiles in the entrance.

"There's two years of dirt on it," Burke said. "I can't even tell the pattern." But, he added, "It'll make a grand entrance to our facility."

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