of IRVINGTON, NY
Guided Tours Resume
April 8th, 2023
Tours by Appointment Only
This magnificent house is also a private residence. Access to the driveway and grounds is for ticket holders ONLY at the appointed time. Thank you,
The Lombardi Family
Victorian Springtime at the Octagon House:
Historic Home & Landscape Tour
April 28th–June 30
The Armour-Stiner Octagon House, The Lord & Burnham Greenhouse, and The Foxglove Garden
The Armour-Stiner Octagon House was built in 1860 as a summer home. To this day, the Spring months here in The Hudson Valley are the most delightful time of the year. Victorian Springtime at The Octagon House, a one-hour tour, includes both a guided exploration of the lush 19th-century grounds and an unforgettable interior tour of this marvelously preserved Victorian Summer Home. Guests will see and smell a vibrant array of Victorian flowers inside the fully restored Lord and Burnham greenhouse, listen to an orchestra of songbirds in the Foxglove Garden, and step back in time with a stroll around the 360-degree verandah. In the interior portion of the tour, see many examples of how the natural world heavily influenced Victorian life and design. A wonderful addition to the third-floor Collections Room will be an installation of framed works on paper by Hudson Valley-based artist, Julia Whitney Barnes. Ms. Barnes' botanical-themed paintings on cyanotype prints are the perfect pairing with this year's Victorian Springtime Tour. The many and varied floral themes of the Octagon House were the inspiration for Julia's work. Each piece has been artfully framed by Kurian & Co. Frame & Display of Yonkers. Prints will be available for sale in our gift shop. See more of Julia's work here.
Image courtesy Julia Whitney Barnes
From the website of Julia Whitney Barnes:
Cyanotype is a camera-less printing process invented in 1842 by scientist and astronomer, Sir John Hirschel, which produces a cyan-blue print when a chemistry-coated surface is exposed to sunlight. The first artist (who was also a botanist) to use this process was Anna Atkins. I manipulate physical impressions of plants grown locally in my Hudson Valley garden and other nearby areas, along with intricately cut-out photographic negatives. Each selected flower/plant is preserved through a pressing process in which I dissect and shape each form—akin to a specimen from a natural history museum—and then lay everything out in massive flat files in my attic studio. Given that sunlight starts the exposure process with cyanotype chemistry, I carefully arrange elaborate compositions at night and utilize long exposures under natural or UV light to create the final prints. Each cyanotype is unique and cannot be replicated in the way I work.
Nothing Is Impossible: Preservation Focus Tour
April 8th – April 23rd
This one-hour guided tour will concentrate on the dramatic restoration efforts made by Preservation Architect, Joseph Pell Lombardi, over the past 45 years of his ownership. In 1978, The Armour-Stiner Octagon House was rescued from an almost certain demise. The story of its rescue and preservation is truly inspirational and not to be missed. Visitors on this tour will learn more about the engineering and structural repairs made, as well as the extraordinary dedication required to successfully take on and complete a task so many said would be "impossible."