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People & Places

Best Victorian Houses to Take Pictures in Front Of 

The McElroy Octagon House & The Feusier Octagon House

The Painted Ladies are such a cliché. For a truly unique Victorian facade that will get people commenting, try these eight-walled beauties. The distinctive powder-blue McElroy home was built in 1861 by architect William C. McElroy and the sunshine-yellow Feusier Octagon home by book agent George Kenny in 1857, during a time when the nation worried about how the shapes of rooms and the interior decor could benefit or hinder human mental development. Orson Squire Fowler, a phrenologist and lecturer, popularized this design of homes in his seminars, based on a theory that the shape would allow more light to enter the home to stimulate intellectual growth. He became so influential that houses with eight-sided floor plans began to be erected and constructed throughout the nation. Only a few thousand remain intact, and in San Francisco, these are the only two examples.

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