We have long loved Octagon houses (and barns) and have been becoming more aware of their existence in Northern New England. As such, we are taking up the challenge of finding all of them, grabbing pictures, and, to the extent possible, documenting their history.
This octagon house at 90 Hill Street in Biddeford, Maine just went up for sale at $69,900. For this particular house, we found this bit of information on Maine Memory Network:
The Octagon House, 90 Hill Street, was built about 1850 by George Washington Pierson as the result of the teaching by the famous phrenologist, Orson Fowler, that an eight-sided house got more benefit from sunlight than a four-sided house. Fowler lectured in Biddeford in 1848 and several octagonal houses were built as a result of which only this one remains in Biddeford.
Orson Squire Fowler was the foremost proponent of phrenology in the United States when that pseudo-science was all the rage; he was the creator of the architectural design of octagon houses, a form which spread across the nation.
Here is what the listing has to say about the house . . . it is pretty blunt that the home needs a lot of work:
Unique octagon shared house built in 1830. Formerly single family converted to a two family home. Furnace, oil tank installed in 2002. Lots of off street parking. Potential for additional parking in rear of house. House and barn need work.
For more information on Octagons in general we found this helpful website: Octagon Inventory
For more on Octagons on Northern New England Villages visit here.