North of Yonkers near the town of Irvington New York is one of the most unique Victorian houses. The octagon house with a domed roof is known as the Amour Stiner House and it was constructed in 1859 by Paul J. Armour. The original octagon two-story house was inspired by Orson Squire Fowler, the author of The Octagon House: A Home for All Occasions. He believed the Octagon shape provided more interior sunlight, and that its rooms were easily accessible to each other
Later on the house was sold to New York City tea merchant Joseph Stiner, who added the domed third story roof and veranda in the 1870s. He used it as a summer cottage and designed it to be a whimsical place to amuse his guests. Over the years the house was owned by some colorful and eccentric people. In the 1930s it was occupied by Aleko Lilius, a Russian born Finnish writer and explorer. He traveled through Africa and South America writing about his time in places like Morocco and Mexico City. For a short time he lived in the Philippines where he was convicted of fraud and did two months of hard labor at a Philippines’ Prison. He also spent time in the South China Sea where he lived with Lai Choi San, A female pirate captain who had a fleet of twelve ships. Lilius published a book about his experience with the Chinese pirates titled I Sailed with Chinese Pirates. For a short time he lived in the United States and and resided in the Armour Stiner home.
Another owner of the home was Carl Carmer, the author, poet, and historian. Carmer resided in the house from 1940 to the time of his death in 1976. He was one of America’s most popular writers in the 1940s and 50s. He primarily wrote American folklore, myths and tall tales. In his later years he worked as a folklore consultant for Walt Disney Productions and produce a folklore radio series called “Your Neck o’ the Woods. While living at the Armour Stiner House, he claimed it was haunted and it gave him inspiration for some of his writing.
Shortly after the death of Carl Carmer, the house was acquired by National Trust for Historic Preservation. In need of stabilization and conservation, it was the first house to be acquired by the National Trust. in 1978 it was sold to architect Joseph Pell Lombardi, who specializes in conservation, restoration, and historic preservation throughout the world. He has restored the home to what it would have look like in 1872. The home is located at 45 W Clinton Ave, Irvington, NY 10533 You can learn more about the house at its website https://www.armourstiner.com/
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