Monday, July 26, 2010

[Resources] King Zog's Empty New York Mansion

Who wouldn't love a king named Zog? That's a great name.

A 150-cigarette-a-day man who became king in Albania before WWII, he only kept his crown for less than a dozen years (1928 to 1939) before he was deposed when Italy invaded two days after the birth of his heir (his last words on Albanian soil crying "Oh God, it was so short"). He spent some time in England, Egypt, tried to get his crown back in 1946 (failing due to Kim Philby's warning the Soviets about the plan) and finally died in France in 1961.

But that's not the interesting bit. Oh, no.

The best part was his American house.

According to wikipedia:

In 1951, he bought the Knollwood estate in Muttontown, New York, for approximately $102,800, though some stories claim that he bought the mansion for a bucket of diamonds and rubies. The sixty-room estate was described as a castle. Zog intended Knollwood to be his kingdom-in-exile, staffed by loyal Albanian subjects, but he never moved into the mansion.

The house was never used and Zog sold the estate in 1955, by which point vandals had done over $8,000 worth of damage, apparently hunting for treasure in his absence. The mansion was later further vandalized and parts of it have since been torn down. Ruins of this mansion can still be seen deep in the woods of Muttontown preserve, located on Route 106 in Muttontown, New York

Why didn't Zog take up residence? Why did he smoke 150 cigarettes a day? Where did he get the bucket of diamonds and rubies? Who were the vandals and what did they do to make sure Zog sold the property? Did Kim Philby have anything to do with it?

What mysteries are found in King Zog's Empty New York Mansion?


  1. I love it! So many great opportunities there!

  2. I remember reading about Zog in high school, when I looked through that awesome series of Time-Life books on World War II. The short-lived Albanian monarchy had just a few pages and some pictures in one of the books but I remembered the name Zog. Now there's info on wikipedia, including this story with the mansion.


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