For sale: Odd and fantastic San Francisco octagonal home designed by phrenologist

The magnificent Feusier Octagon House in San Francisco is for sale for $8.6 million. Its curious shape was informed by a popular book of the 1850s, "A Home for All; Or, The Gravel Wall and Octagon Mode of Building" by Orson Squire Fowler, a phrenologist who according to SFGATE, "argued that eight-sided homes were better for one's well-being, in part because it meant every room in the house would get sunlight at one point during the day." Phrenology is the silly pseudoscience in which the size, shape, and texture of the skull is purported to be indicative of mental traits. From SF Gate:

Feusier was a prominent businessman who supposedly ran in the same circles as Leland Stanford and Mark Twain. There are only three octagon houses in the Bay Area — the others are at Lands End and on Gough Street — and just a hundred or so in the country.

The Feusier Octagon House is also one of San Francisco's oldest homes. Before the city filled with towers and skyscrapers, it was one of the most notable sights on the skyline and must have boasted incredible views from its many windows. Several outbuildings were dynamited as fire breaks during the 1906 earthquake's fiery aftermath, but the home was saved.

Here's the listing at Sotheby's.

images: Sotheby's