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Nothing Is Impossible – Preservation Focus Tour

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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