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Oheka's history and transformation

Oheka Castle in Huntington has been the site of weddings and other large public and private events since it was completed in 1921.

VARIOUS USES. The castle was a retreat for NYC sanitation workers and a World War II training area for soldiers.

1942-1945. It was a radio operator's school for the Merchant Marine.

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT. The golf course, which owner Otto Kahn supposedly built after area clubs rejected him because he was Jewish, and 200 acres were sold in 1947 to become the Cold Spring Hills housing development and country club.

1948. The Eastern Military Academy bought the castle, bulldozed gardens, subdivided rooms and painted over walls. The school went bankrupt 30 years later.

1979-1983. Oheka was abandoned and vandalized.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Since being restored, it served as the backdrop for commercials for Ralph Lauren and Pantene and a segment of Robin Leach's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

RESTORATION. Gary Melius bought the home and remaining 23 acres in 1984 for $1.5 million. It had no electricity, plumbing, windows or doors. After a $30-million restoration, Oheka is 70 percent restored.

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