Orson Squire Fowler & New York’s Octagon Houses

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



Orson Squire Fowler & New York’s Octagon Houses

Octagon houses date back to ancient Greece, where they were symbols of rebirth and renewal. In the United States they were mostly built during the 1850s and 1860s, many of them in New York State.

Most were inspired by Orson Squire Fowler’s book The Octagon House: A Home for All, published in 1848. Born in Cohocton, Steuben County, NY in 1809, Fowler became a phrenologist, a racist pseudoscience aimed at determining character and intelligence from the size and shape of a person’s cranium.

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