Octagon houses were all the craze in the mid-to-late 1800s.  A book by the leading proponent of this craze, Orson Seymour Fowler (1809-1887), gained wide notoriety for the benefits of an 8-sided home.  The book, Octagon Houses:  A Home For All, suggested there would be many health benefits to living in an octagon house, from stair-climbing, to increased sunlight, to more efficient air-flow.

Plus, he pointed to the efficient uses of building materials in a house that was not square.  The craze was brief, however, and although hundreds were built across the country, only a relatively small number can be found in each state. Here are 14 of the best of New York's 120 remaining octagon houses.

Check out this list.  Notice that at least two of these octagon houses are open to the public, one as a museum and one as an inn.  Another one is a full-blown octagon house museum located near Syracuse.  Still another one can be found at the largest living museum in New York State.

I have visited several of these octagon homes in my travels, and one thing really surprised me.  I thought I would get a little claustrophobic inside these hard-angled buildings.  Surprisingly, there is lots of room and they are very airy.  The only problem for me, and I will admit that I am "generous" in size, is the spiral staircase which comes with all of them.  Yes, that can be a little challenging for a large person, or someone who has mobility issues.

Still they are all very cool and historic and worth a few minutes of your time.  Enjoy!

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As an Upstate New York travel writer I am on the road in the region some 30-40,000 miles a year. And along the way I have stopped at hundreds of places to eat over the last 15 years. Now, my go to meal is always Italian, but...if I am not in the mood for a full sit-down meal I am always good for a bowl of hot wings in a tavern or inn. Here are 13 of the best wing joints in Upstate New York. I have kept the big chains and franchises off the list although they are for the most part excellent (places like Dinosaur BBQ, or Tullys). This list shines the light on smaller, independent, out of the way places that often get missed in the "Best of..." contests and polls, and yet are truly putting out some epic wings. Try them out!

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