Open House Obsession: Step Inside Russian Hill's Feusier Octagon House
Octagon houses were a mid-19th Century design fad based on the notion that one's health and well-being were determined by the shape of one's house, and the octagon plan permitted all rooms to get natural light and air. Dating back to the late 1850s, this octagon house—only one of two survivors in San Francisco—is on a beautiful tree-lined street on Russian Hill, a neighborhood where the whole visual history of San Francisco architecture can be seen within a few blocks. French immigrant Louis Feusier bought the house in 1875 and added the mansard roof and cupola in the 1890s. The rooms look like any other from the period, except all odd have angles:
The main stair hall with its 1-person space-age elevator:
The Feusier family owned it until 1951, and now after various owners it's currently being marketed as a two-unit building on an 0.2-acre lot with a 2-bed, 1-bath apartment on the garden level and a 2-bed, 2.5 bath duplex above. Along the way, $1M has been shaved off the original $5.2M price from when it was listed three months ago, although whether that makes it a bargain is another question. Below, one of the ground floor rooms, which opens to a patio, the huge yard and mature plantings:
The interiors need some perking up after a succession of owners, and as a San Francisco Landmark, it's tough to alter much on the exterior to take advantage of the property's exceptionally large lot. With two kitchens, a flowing series of rooms and great outdoor space, this clearly could become party central for 200 of your closest friends. More details about the house's history here, and have look at the realtor's dedicated site– which includes floor plans along with more images.