View our
special offers

Which hotel inspired Citizen Kane and was featured in a Taylor Swift music video?

OHEKA CASTLE (1919) Huntington, New York, located on a beautiful 443-acre property was one of two sites used for the filming of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space" music video in 2014 and the inspiration for Xanadu in Citizen Kane. OHEKA CASTLE was featured in many memorable moments, making it a bucket list destination for Taylor Swift fans or “Swifties,” but also those who love history and film.

Otto Hermann Kahn built OHEKA CASTLE (named using various parts of Kahn’s name- Otto Hermann Kahn) in 1919 on the highest point of Long Island in Cold Spring Harbor. The New York Times declared it, “the finest country house in America.” The home was constructed for an estimated cost of $11 million, which would be today’s equivalent of roughly $204 million. The French-style chateau is the second-largest private residence ever built in the United States and was used many ways after the family sold it in the 1930s. It served as a retreat for New York sanitation workers, a government training school for Merchant Marine radio operators, and finally, a military academy.

fell into many decades of disrepair after the school closed, but it was eventually saved
. In 1984, developer Gary Melius purchased OHEKA CASTLE and the remaining 22 acres that surrounded the estate. He began restoring the CASTLE to its original grandeur, completing the $40 million restoration, and transforming it into its current iteration, a historic hotel.

During the Roaring Twenties, the estate entertained Hollywood luminaries, esteemed heads of state, and distinguished royalty. It is no wonder the location scouts chose it for the Blank Space music video.

“Swifties" will recognize the gorgeous estate from the opening outdoor scenes of the car, as well as the scene where Swift is extending her hand after walking down a gorgeous staircase.. Another memorable moment from the music video takes place in the gardens, as Swift is riding a beautiful white horse and later, she drops her lover's phone into one of the eight reflecting pools.

Prior to Taylor Swift, the hotel captivated the imaginations of all who saw it, including director Orson Welles, who used photographs of the estate structure to serve as the inspiration for the fictional estate portrayal of Xanadu in his film Citizen Kane. OHEKA CASTLE has been featured in many more moments in pop culture, notably Project Runway, the HBO comedy-drama Succession, FX’s The Americans, and The CW’s Gossip Girl.

Guests are welcomed to this premier historic hotel with charming European-style luxury and hospitality. OHEKA CASTLE offers history tours, in addition to exceptional hospitality. Book a stay at OHEKA CASTLE.

This has been a Historic Hotels History Mystery. For more fun facts, trivia, and historic highlights, check out our History Mystery pages for Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide.

Special Offer

Optional Push

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Learn More