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Oheka, circa 1914-1937

Landscape designer:
Farrand, Beatrix 1872-1959
Former owners:
Kahn, Otto Hermann 1867-1934
Former owner:
Melius, Gary
Eastern Military Academy
Provenance:
Blue, Frances
Nurserymen:
Lewis & Valentine Company
Architects:
Delano & Aldrich
Landscape designers:
Olmsted Brothers
Physical description:
2 folders + 29 35mm slides and 3 photo prints
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, New York, Suffolk County, Huntington
New York
Huntington
Oheka (Huntington, New York)
Date:
1914
1914-1937
circa 1914-1937
Notes:
Oheka was the grandest estate of its time in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island's North Shore, styled after French farmhouses but with 126 rooms. The house was designed by architects William Adams Delano and Chester Holmes Aldrich in circa 1921. In 1917 the Olmsted Brothers planned the grounds of the 443-acre estate, which included the entrance drive bordered by red cedars, the golf course, and extensive bridle paths. It took two years to move the earth and build up a rise on which the house was sited. A distinctive parterre in front of the house was comprised of eight reflecting pools to show the changing sky and surrounding mountains, with grass borders. In 1919 Adele Wolff Kahn commissioned Beatrix Farrand to design more intimate spaces, including a Dutch garden, an octagonal garden, a rose garden and a water garden. The formal Dutch garden enclosed by vine-covered brick walls displayed tulips and flowering trees in the spring, in parterre beds separated by brick walks laid out in a herringbone pattern. The octagonal fragrance garden featured yellow and purple pansies followed in summer by lavender, nepeta and pink carnations. Farrand's designs were formal and highly detailed to the extent that each week's blooms could be anticipated.
Garden features included greenhouses, an orangery, a croquet lawn, stables, pools and tennis courts. Courtyards at the house featured single mature trees supplied by the Long Island nursery, Lewis & Valentine. The estate was too costly to maintain and the gardens were destroyed in 1948. A partial restoration and conversion to a hotel in the 1980s reinstalled the Olmsted Brothers landscape designs but not Farrand's.
Persons associated with the garden include Otto H. Kahn and Adele Wolff Kahn (former owners, 1914-circa 1934); Eastern military Academy (former owner), Gary Melius (former owner), Olmsted Brothers (landscape architects, circa 1917); Beatrix Farrand (landscape designer, 1919-1928); Lewis & Valentine (nurserymen, circa 1928); William Adams Delano & Chester Holmes Aldrich (architects).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
Publications:
This property is featured in "Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes" by Judith Tankard, The Monacelli Press, 2009, pp. 91-94; "American Homes of To-Day: their Architectural Style, their Environment, their Characteristics" by Augusta Owen Patterson, published by the Macmillan Company, 1924
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
NY170000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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