8-sided San Fran house hits market for $1M a side

Feusier Octagon House among just 2 remaining in city from 1850s

1067 Green Street (Janet Feinberg Schindler)
1067 Green Street (Janet Feinberg Schindler)

A rare 1850s-era octagon house in San Francisco is hitting the market for $8.6 million. The eight-sided property’s history comes packed with about as many chapters.

The roughly 5,000-square-foot Feusier Octagon House is one of two octagon houses left in the city and one of the oldest homes in the Russian Hill neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal. The city made it a landmark in the 1970s.

Octagon houses were popularized in the mid-19th century by Orson Squire Fowler. He believed his design was better for light and ventilation in the home. The Feusier Octagon House was one of about a hundred homes built in adherence to his 1848 book on the subject.

Fowler was also among the nation’s leading proponents of the now discredited scientific theory of phrenology, which was popular around that time, used to justify racist and sexist stereotypes.

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The three-story home has four bedrooms, several living rooms, a formal dining room, office and bar. There is also a garden on the property. An octagonal cupola was added in the 1880s.

It was built for literary agent George L. Kenny, who sold it to businessman Louis Feusier in 1875. Feusier was a friend of Mark Twain, the San Francisco Planning Commission has noted.

Feusier’s family owned the home until 1954. The current owners are the children of the late Howard and Iran Billman, who bought the property for $2.8 million in 1998.

[WSJ] — Dennis Lynch