In 1984, Long Island developer Gary Melius began restoration of OHEKA. Under Mr. Melius’ expert direction, OHEKA’s first floor, roof, exterior and formal gardens were returned to their original magnificence during the 1980s. However, residential zoning restrictions became an obstacle to OHEKA’s full restoration. Hence, the birth of the not-forprofit preservation organization, Friends of OHEKA, Inc.
Friends of OHEKA, Inc. was formed in 1996 with the mission to protect, preserve and raise public awareness of OHEKA CASTLE. This not-for-profit corporation is a public-private partnership with OHEKA’s owner, Gary Melius, and its mission was partially achieved when the Huntington Town
Board created the OHEKA CASTLE Overlay District and approved OHEKA’s “adaptive reuses” as a banquet hall, fine dining venue and hotel. The Castle is now fully restored.
What Your Membership Supports
Friends’ educational programs include the “Kids at the Castle” Tour Program that welcomes 3rd, 4th and 5th graders from throughout Long Island for Castle tours during the school year. Kids bring their bag lunch and visit and learn about the “granddaddy” of all Gold Coast mansions. These tours are provided free of charge.
In addition, each year Friends, in partnership with Gary Melius, bestows Otto Kahn Awards to deserving Huntington area public high school seniors who plan to continue their education and training in the fine arts, performing arts and music. These cash awards are given in memory of Otto Kahn, who generously provided financial support to struggling artists during the early 20th century. Funds for the Otto Kahn Awards are raised at Friends’ annual June Garden Parties held in and around the Formal Gardens at OHEKA.
To join, please click the link below to download the Membership Brochure PDF, fill out the application and mail in with your payment.