Landmark Society of Homer NY

Architectural Styles

Octagon Houses

Sig Sautelle's Circus House
Sig Sautelle's Circus House was built in 1905 to resemble a circus tent. It was the winter quarters for the entire troupe including the animals.


Although this is a relatively rare style, Homer boasts two octagon houses, including the building that served as the home to Sautelle's circus in the early 1900s.

The use of the octagon shape in construction was not new. Thomas Jefferson had built one in the late 18th century and some federal style buildings were designed with octagonally shaped wings or projections.

However, the 1848 publication of Orson Squire Fowler’s book, The Octagon House: A New, Cheap, Convenient, and Superior Mode of Building, and his popular lectures on that topic and his other, less-abiding claim-to-fame, phrenology, peaked interest in the style. Fowler promoted the octagon house as innovative, modern, healthful (in terms of increased light and ventilation), and economical. They were indeed less expensive to build and heat and easier to light and ventilate.

Octagon House Homer NY Octagon House Homer NY

Octagon house and barn/carriage house: 26 Clinton Street. Built in 1850 by Dr. Alphonso Head, a veterinarian, using one of Orson Fowler's designs. After the house's masonry walls were constructed, the hewn chestnut framing was used to build the two-story carriage house, used by Dr. Head for his horses and as a veterinary clinic.