1860 Octagon – Catskill, NY

Added to OHD on 6/12/13   -   Last OHD Update: 6/28/20   -   10 Comments
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21 Walnut St, Catskill, NY 12414

  • $439,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 3700 Sq Ft
  • 2.3 Ac.
The David van Gelder Octagon House is a National Registry property that might accurately be called Octagon Oasis for its 2.3 acre park hidden within the village of Catskill. A long gravel drive leads through the private park to one of the most amazing houses in the Hudson Valley. Octagon Houses were a fabulous fad created by phrenologist Orson Squire Fowler in the 10 years prior to the Civil War. His idea was enclosing 20% more space than a square within the same perimeter, letting in more natural light by eliminating corners - among many other things. This superb 12-room (or so) example in brick includes 4 classical (and acoustically sensational) 14 x 17 rooms with 12 ft. high ceilings on the first floor, 4 Bedrooms (one now a Media Room) on the second floor - reached by a soaring staircase that spirals on up to the Sky Lantern, from which one gazes upon one's very private and elegant domain.

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10 Comments on 1860 Octagon – Catskill, NY

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  1. John Shiflet says: 5542 comments

    The outside photos make the place look like a painting from the Hudson River Valley school of artists or a Currier & Ives print. I’m not overjoyed with the modern interior but I think it would be easy to take the house back a century or so without much effort. Seems reasonably priced considering what’s offered and the 2.3 acres is a big plus. Octagon houses are rare and never were very numerous even during their heyday in the 1850’s. Some Octagons have odd shaped rooms but none of that is evident in this one.

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  2. Linda says: 25 comments

    Beautiful home, and I agree with John, the decorating could definitely be scaled back a century..it would bring more to the house’s personality…not so sure I liked their “dining room art”…..

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    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12220 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      I keep looking at it, wondering if he is holding something in front of his…stuff, lol. That sure would be weird, sitting there and looking at that when one is eating. 😉

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  3. Linda says: 25 comments

    Yeah, not really something for dinner guests…..this cannot be a household with kids!

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  4. says: 458 comments

    LOL, prudes! We had paintings of naked people when I was a kid and I turned out…well…OK, maybe I’m not a good example:)

    I like the staircase in this house. And the setting of course.

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    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12220 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      lol, that explains a lot then. Maybe guys don’t mind it, but when I’m sitting down to eat that’s the last thing I want to be looking at. 😉

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  5. Linda says: 25 comments

    Lol!

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  6. Linda says: 25 comments

    Ditto Kelly! I would be too busy looking at the picture and missing out on the beauty of the Octagon house!

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  7. bfish says: 84 comments

    I like the house and its decor. My assumption — and I could be wrong — from some of the decorating choices is that a gay couple lives here. I’m not really seeing any excessive “modernity” in the interior, at least no more so than many of the other old houses on this site that are furnished eclectically.

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  8. philip colavito says: 1 comments

    My family owned this home as our vacation home.The home is rumored to have been on the underground railroad. It has a spirit that brought much joy. I can remember the huge live Christmas tree towering in the hall. The touch of the white marble fireplace. And the family laughter. The home was covered in ivy when we owned it and bats would occasionally fly into our bedroom windows on a warm summer night. Our home was, is and will always bring a sennse magiic.

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