This landscape and home-focused tour includes a brief history of specimen plants original to the property, the carefully-restored Lord and Burnham greenhouse, and the wonderfully romantic foxglove garden. Book your tour of this Victorian house in New York online today!
Nothing Is Impossible – Preservation Focus Tour
- General Admission Ages 12+
Learn About the Preservation of this New York Architecture on the Octagon House Tour!
In the 1970s, The Octagon House in Irvington, NY was on the verge of collapse. The structure of the house was compromised, the floors had settled, the domed roof had separated and rain was pouring in through its seams. Desperately in need of stabilization and conservation, it was an overwhelming task that few people were willing to attempt. To most, this would seem impossible.
In 1978 Joseph Pell Lombardi, a young preservation architect, successfully won the bid to purchase and restore The Armour-Stiner Octagon House from The National Trust for Historic Preservation. This was the first house to be acquired by the National Trust and resold to a private citizen. For the past 45 years Mr. Lombardi, along with his son Michael Lombardi have been obsessively committed to preserving and restoring every aspect of the house back to its original 1872 state. This meticulous process of restoring The Octagon House is described by Mr. Lombardi as “similar to piecing together a 500,000 piece jigsaw puzzle”
In this one-hour guided tour, we will share an in depth look at some of the extraordinary lengths the Lombardis went to in order to restore this magnificent example of historic preservation we see today. Guests will see recently discovered photos of the house, and learn more about the processes involved in performing restoration work throughout the house. Including but not limited to the Egyptian Revival Room, Basement, Kitchen, Greenhouse & Studio, and much of the decorative surfaces. The Lombardi Family’s ongoing preservation effort continues with the offering of guided tours by appointment that began in 2018.
“Our task was not to remove all traces of age, but to hold together the fragile beauty of the Octagon House so as to keep our peace with the original builder” –Joseph Pell Lombardi, Preservation Architect and Owner
– Our 1-hour tours are conducted by highly trained docents and include both the exterior and interior of the home.
– Tickets are required for all guests, including those under the age of 18. This experience is best suited for ages 12 and up – babies and toddlers (although delightful) are not appropriate to bring along for the tour.
– Free parking is available on site, along our driveway or in the circle in front of The Octagon House, but it is limited. Please do not park on West Clinton Avenue.
– We ask that you please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your tour time and depart within 15 minutes of the end of your tour. If possible, please carpool if coming as a group. This allows us to make sure all ticketed visitors have access to parking on the grounds.
– The tour is not recommended for individuals who will have difficulty walking up and down three flights of stairs or those who cannot stand for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for wheelchair users or people with limited mobility.
– We have limited restroom facilities, so we recommend planning ahead and using the restroom before arriving at The Octagon House. Especially during busy times, our restroom may be unavailable prior to the start of your tour.
– Please leave all large belongings at home or in a vehicle, including luggage, large bags, tripods, and other similar items.
– Picnicking is not allowed on the grounds or the veranda, and food and drink are not allowed inside the house. Please make plans to enjoy your meal at another location, and leave these items in your vehicle while on the property.
– Pets are also not allowed inside the house or on the grounds whatsoever.
Non-flash photography is allowed inside the house, and we encourage sharing your tour experience on social media. Tag us in your posts! The Armour-Stiner Octagon House can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Please refrain from using selfie sticks, tripods, or any other photography equipment while on the tour. For more information regarding photo shoots or commercial photography, please reach out to us at [email protected] before making a reservation.
The Octagon House is a private home. For this reason, we do not allow access to the gardens and grounds without a ticketed reservation, and certain areas of the home may not be available for viewing. We appreciate your cooperation in respecting these boundaries.
While touring, please stay with your guide and refrain from touching walls, finishes, furniture & objects. Please help us continue to preserve this magnificent home and its furnishings well into the future!
A discount is available for members of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, please email [email protected] before making reservations.