Formerly known as "Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Round House, Somerville

This is a strange, ahem, unique house. Surrounded by typical three-story houses in Spring Hill, Somerville, this cylindrical oddity (oy!) has been under renovation since a local man purchased this abandoned house in 2007.

Originally, the Round House was owned by Enoch Robinson, who operated a prominent hardware manufacturing company. Built in 1856, this three story single family home contained an oval library and living room among with more conventional-shape kitchen and dining room on the 1st floor. 2nd and 3rd floor were consisted with bedroom and bathroom shaped like a divided piece of sliced pineapples in a tin. By the way, the diameter of the house -- how many times do I have an opportunity to say so -- is 40ft (13m).

A construction project is going on behind the Round House. I don't know it's the same operation as the renovation project, but they aren't going to raze the house, right? But look closely, the exterior of the 3rd floor, modillions, window heads, the order, etc.  have been refurbished.

Tinplates? It looks like air ducts jutting out with no apparent reason, no, I think they are battlements.

The current state of the interior is a big mystery to many. Originally, the interior was equipped with nice hardware due to the nature of Robinson's business. The roof was topped with a glass skylight, and the walls were decorated with "the French scenic wallpaper." (from Centers and Squares) It sounds like a house with full of fun.

Now (on the right is ex-Carr elementary school)
Vintage View of the Carr School in Spring Hill
Then: vintage post card from Centers & Squares

This month, I've been covering 1850's octagon-themed buildings. The Round House is a derivation of them, and I'll take it further next time: I'll cover possibly the first octagon cage ring built in the mid 19th century which hosted a match between Chuck Norris and the dude with star-spangled bad boy pants. I've heard about it few years ago and just found it's in my neighborhood. (Oy, can't you wait for 4 1/2 months?) Ah, I love Massachusetts!

Locate Round House @ Google Map
For the original floor plans, etc.: Centers & Squares

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