Armour-Stiner (Octagon) House
One of the most celebrated occupants of this house was Carl Carmer, the author, poet and historian. Carmer resided in the house from 1940 to the time of his death in 1976. His legacy includes tales of a resident ghost.
The Armour-Stiner (Octagon) House is one of the most visually unique homes in the world. It is the only known fully domed octagonal residence and the only house built in the form of an ancient classical temple. The Octagon House was built in the 1860s by Paul J. Armour, a New York City financier. In this pre-Civil War period octagonal houses were a popular mode of construction following the publication of a book, The Octagon House, A Home for All, by Orson Squire Fowler, a phrenologist, sexologist and amateur architect. In 1872, the house was purchased by Joseph Stiner, a prominent New York City tea merchant. His alterations created the present unique structure. With plans to use the house as a summer retreat, Stiner added the dome and the verandah to create a classical, elaborately detailed Roman temple.
The Armour-Stiner House is a private residence. Please respect the owner’s privacy, only visit on a scheduled tour!
The Classic Tour
Created as a summer retreat by tea-importer Joseph Stiner, its shape was based on the theories of Orson Squire Fowler, a phrenologist, who believed octagonal houses enclosed more space, allowed the sun in at all times, and permitted more views into the landscape. This one hour tour introduces you to the history of the house and its occupants as well as the landscape of the property.
This one hour tour includes a brief history of specimen plants original to the property, the carefully restored Lord and Burnham greenhouse, the wonderfully romantic foxglove garden, (shaped in the exact size and footprint of the house itself!), and the charming Octagonal birdhouse, (a scaled-down replica of the house). Visitors will also experience the house’s wrap-around veranda that offers 360-degree views of the lush landscape, as well as particular architectural details which relate specifically to native plants and foliage of the grounds. Finally, the tour will continue inside the house with an interior tour of the first, second and third floors, which retain their magnificent ornamentation and furnishings. July through September.
Myths and Mysteries Tour
For years, local rumors have swirled around The Octagon House, implying its connection to the spirit world. Join us as we delve into the myths and mysteries of the house—from its unique dome shape resembling an ancient Roman temple, to its octagonal floor plan rooted in 19th century Phrenology, to speculations of a resident ghost, we’ll share stories from the current owners who have described their experiences of the house as something otherworldly. Come hear tales of the unexplained and uncanny events that have occurred in this magical house while experiencing the delight of this meticulously restored architectural wonder. September and October dates.
"The Lady in White" Interactive Tour & Performance
Her ship went down in flames, but the Lady in White returned to the Octagon House and still waits for her lover to find her there. Based on the 1956 Carl Carmer tale, your visit with The Spirit of the Octagon House will take you through the rooms of this unique to the world home whilst the Spirit and her Mother weave in and out, evading and searching in a journey that culminates in a tragic reveal.
Victorian Christmas at the Octagon House
Celebrate the holiday season in Victorian splendor at The Armour-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington, New York. Join us for an opportunity to experience this lyrical, eight-sided home surrounded by the sights of Christmas in 1872. The restored National Landmark will be filled with elaborate holiday décor featuring wreaths, garlands, and the sparkle of ornaments on a grand Christmas Tree inside the salon.