Armour–Stiner House

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Armour–Stiner House
Armour-Stiner House (1).jpg
Armour–Stiner House is located in New York
Armour–Stiner House
Location 45 W. Clinton Ave., Irvington, NY
Coordinates 41°1′51″N 73°52′14″W / 41.03083°N 73.87056°W / 41.03083; -73.87056Coordinates: 41°1′51″N 73°52′14″W / 41.03083°N 73.87056°W / 41.03083; -73.87056
Built 1860
Architectural style Octagon Mode
NRHP reference # 75001238
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 18, 1975 [1]
Designated NHL December 8, 1976 [2]

The Armour–Stiner House, also known as the Carmer Octagon House, is a unique octagon-shaped and domed Victorian style house located at 45 West Clinton Avenue in Irvington, in Westchester County, New York. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.[2][3] It is known that other domed octagonal residences were built in the United States, but it is unknown if any of them still exist.[4]

The house was built in 1859–1860 by financier Paul J. Armour based on the architectural ideas of Orson Squire Fowler, the author of The Octagon House: A Home for All Occasions. Fowler believed that octagonal houses enclosed more space, provided more interior sunlight, and that its rooms were easily accessible to each other.[5] The architect of the house is unknown. It is the only known octagonal house based on the domed colonnade shape of a Roman temple.[5] The dome was added and the house was enlarged during 1872–1876 by Joseph Stiner, who was a tea importer. The Armour–Stiner House is said to be one of the most lavish octagon houses built in the period, and is now one of only perhaps a hundred still extant.[6][7][8][9]

In the 1930s, the house was owned by Aleko E. E. Lilius, a Finnish writer and explorer,[5] and from 1946 to 1976 by historian Carl Carmer, who maintained that the house was haunted.[10] In 1976, the house was briefly owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to prevent it from being demolished. The Trust was unable to fund the amount of renovation the property required, and sold it to the preservationist architect, Joseph Pell Lombardi, who has conserved and renovated the house, interiors, grounds and outbuildings.[6][11][12]

The house remains a private residence. It is located on the south side of West Clinton Avenue, on the crest of a hill overlooking the Hudson River, to the west. It is about 1650 feet from the river, and about 140 feet above it, consistent with Fowler's siting ideas.[13] The Old Croton Aqueduct, another National Historic Landmark, abuts the property on the east.

In September 2017, Lombardi offered the house for rent through Sotheby's, for $40,000 a month.[5]


The four-story house, plus an observatory, encompasses 8,400 square feet (780 m2). The complex includes a barn, a carriage house, a well house used as a gazebo, and the original Lord & Burnham conservatory greenhouse. The house's main floor is surrounded by a veranda decorated with carved wooden gingerbread detailing and lit with gas lamps. The interior of the house includes an entrance hall, a solarium, a library, a curio room, a music room in the Egyptian Revival style, a 360-degree "dance room" added by Stiner, a billiard room, a wine cellar, seven bedrooms and three bathrooms, two kitchens and a pantry.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The house is the main setting for the 1981 horror film The Nesting.
  • The house is featured in Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey Volume 4, #2 (2003), reprinted in The Collected Works of Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey.[14]
  • An exterior shot of the home was used in the film, Across the Universe.[15] The Octagon House is seen briefly after the "Magical Mystery Tour" bus arrives in a wooded area. It is first depicted in psychedelic colors and then with a moat surrounding it. The building is described by Bono (playing "Dr. Robert") as the "Headquarters of the League of Spiritual Deliverance", the home of Dr. Geary (an allusion to Dr. Timothy Leary).

See also[edit]



  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Armour-Stiner House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-14. 
  3. ^ Thomas M. Slade (August 19, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Armour–Stiner House" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying photos, exterior and interior, from 1970-1975 (2.25 MB)
  4. ^ See HABS data pages, page__.
  5. ^ a b c d Nessy, Messy (ndg) "Rent this Ornate Octagon House on the Hudson for $40,000 a Month" Apartment Therapy
  6. ^ a b Lombardi, Joseph Pell. "The Armour–Stiner (Octagon) House Irvington-On-Hudson, New York". Archived from the original on 29 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Dave's Victorian House Site - Victorian House School
  10. ^ Carmer, Carl. "The Ghost in the River Octagon" in The Screaming Ghost and Other Stories. New York: Knopf, 1956.
  11. ^ Irvington Historical Society,Octagon House
  12. ^ Arthur G. Adams, The Hudson River Guidebook (1996) ISBN 0-8232-1202-5.
  13. ^ See data pages of HABS, page __
  14. ^ published by Dark Horse in 2004
  15. ^ Across the Universe (2007) The house appears at the 1 hr. 7 min. 30 sec. mark, the last part of Track 14 ("I Am the Walrus").

External links[edit]