In a sumptuous, blue-eyed cataclysm of cultural references, all-American sparkly-dress-wearer Taylor Swift unleashed her music video for Blank Space, a lavish free-for-all in which Swift does what she's always done best: turn crappy relationships into internet phenomenons that siphon cash straight into her pretty little hands. What's seemingly a video about the implosion of a relationship is actually about a different relationship altogether; here, in this "Gone Girl of music videos," Swift does more than disintegrate into a thrashing, axe-wielding crazy person, she's making fun of the hyperbole news outlets use when talking about her romantic life. Now that's all very empowering and amazing, but you know what's even more amazing?
That house. That sweet, very far from "new-money" house. The place wherein Swift and her beau eat dinner across giant tables, sway in ballrooms, and paint (and destroy) portraits. In real life it's Long Island, New York's Oheka Castle, the former country home of professional rich guy Otto Kahn, who built the place between 1914 and 1919. Below, 11 fast facts about the manor:
11. Oheka Castle remains the second-largest private home ever built in the U.S. (Asheville, North Carolina's Biltmore reigns supreme), with 127 rooms and more than 109,000 square feet. Yes, that's even more than Florida's disastrous faux Versailles.
10. If you're very rich and well-connected, you can get married there. In 2009 it was dubbed by the We network as the No. 1 "most unforgettable" wedding venue in the world.
9. It's got a bit of a boy band pedigree: Kevin Jonas got married there, and so did the most-forgettable Nsync guy, Joey Fatone. As for the non-boy-band wedding contingent: scandal-embroiled (read: dick-pic snapping) politician Anthony Weiner and Fox News host Megyn Kelly were both married there (to different people).
8. It's said that Oheka Castle was inspiration for director Baz Luhrman's Gatsby estate.
7. When it was built 100 years ago, the manor was one of the first fireproof residences ever built. Kahn insisted the building be made of steel and concrete; his family's former country home, Cedar Court, went up in flames nine years prior.
6. Oh, and Kahn is thought to be the inspiration for "the Monopoly guy." This isn't really about the house but, it's the Monopoly guy.
5. Those French-style gardens Swift looks out over in the video? Those are by members of the legendary landscaping line of Olmsteds. Kahn called upon the Olmsted Brothers to create a French-style sunken garden, with high hedges, "water terraces," and ornamental graven "in parterres."
4. The 443-acre estate place also boasts an 18-hole golf course, a greenhouse village to rival any other in the United States, orchards, stables, and a landing strip.
3. The USA Network TV show Royal Pains, about a doctor who makes house calls to the rich and famous in the Hamptons, is filmed here. It was also glimpsed in The Others and Gossip Girl.
2. Earlier this year, Oheka Castle's owner, a big-deal Long Island development guy by the name of Gary Melius, was nearly assassinated while getting into his car on the property. He was shot in the head (the bullet grazed him) by a masked gunman.
1. It was featured heavily in what is considered to be the best movie ever made: 1941's Citizen Kane.
· Taylor Swift—Blank Space [Youtube]
· Oheka Castle [official site]