I’ve always been a lover of art. Something about transporting myself into the artist’s world, jumping into the painting like Mary Poppins has been near and dear to my heart. My dream life was to be a curator at a museum and to live in a quirky little house with a garden. Somehow I ended up in Tax, but such is life, still got the quirky little apartment surrounded by art! So since the curator didn’t pan out, the hunt for quirky little houses has become a little hobby of mine.
When I learned that a PINK Octagon House in Upstate New York was opening for private tours I jumped at the opportunity. Bought the tickets in advance, and planned a great little Saturday drive to Irvington, NY.
The Armour-Stiner House is this awesome domed Victorian style house, full of quaint character and charm. The house was originally built in the 1860’s by Paul J Armour, who was a New York City Financier. From there the house went through multiple more homeowners and sequentially fell into disarray. Finally it was bought by current owner Joseph Pell Lombardi, who is a preservation architect specializing in conservation. He restored the house to the original 1872 grandeur.
We snagged an earlier morning tour on a surprisingly snowy day in November. Luckily the group was small, and Joseph gave the tour himself. The knowledge that this man had, on not only the house, but the previous owners was astonishing. You could really feel his love for the house and every single room that he restored. The tour only lasted about an hour, but I couldn’t recommend it enough for really anyone who has an appreciation for art. My boyfriend who very lovingly went with me and gave up some sports game was more excited than I was about someone of the rooms. His personal favorite was the Egyptian room that Joseph was still in the process of restoring. The walls were incredible as well as his vision for what the chairs would be restored to which he was getting patterns from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also had on display his completely refurbished Egyptian style piano, that my boyfriend Z lost his shit over.
My personal favorite was the fourth floor dance room. To visualize these woman climbing four flights of stairs in their Victorian dresses to dance the night away in a circular attic was just a little too much for me to handle. **Que Downton Abbey music** We were even able to go up to the fifth floor Observatory, which Joseph explained to us that normally he doesn’t let people up there, so you better believe I took advantage.
This house is great, if you are a lover of history, architecture, or just pretty houses in general this is a MUST see. I included the link below for where you can buy tickets for the tour. You must have a ticket prior to showing up for the tour. Lately I see they have been selling out, so I am super happy for his success! https://www.armourstiner.com/