Octagon House

Octagon House, San Francisco: Address, Phone Number, Octagon House Reviews: 4/5

Octagon House
4
About
This small museum mainly features Early American artifacts, from furniture to pewter, though the exterior of this odd, eight-sided building is itself worth a look.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Marina District
Beautiful homes, beautiful people, and a beautiful backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge welcome visitors to the Marina. Originally the location for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 (whose remnants can be seen at the Palace of Fine Arts), much of the land was filled and flattened to accommodate a world’s fair. That ample space has given way to a jogger’s paradise at the northern edge of the city. With the picturesque bay setting as its backdrop, it’s no surprise that the area has hosted numerous movie productions. Daytime activities focus on café culture and boutique shopping, while the evenings turn this neighbourhood into a party-going hotspot.
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
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4,225 within 5 kms
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630 within 5 kms

4.0
18 reviews
Excellent
6
Very good
10
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Orion47
Reading5 contributions
18th century treasures in a 19th century gem
Jul 2019 • Couples
This small architectural gem is open only once a month (2nd Sunday), so check your calendar if you're in the City and have a hankering for an eclectic mix of history.
The building, itself, has been beautifully restored, though with some practical modifications.
Those who like a modern "open concept" floorplan might find the first floor an inspiration.

Beyond the basic architecture, the house features a number of treasures, though unrelated to the house, still fascinating. They include beautiful antique furniture, silver, china, and more.
A star feature is the collection of signatures of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.(all but one...)

The staff were friendly and knowledgeable--adding to the fun.
Written 15 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

permia
Ireland37,144 contributions
Moving back-story
Oct 2018 • Couples
It was fascinating to discover more of the events in the life of this remarkable house. Built as an eight-sided construct in 1861 by William McElroy, but strikingly across the street from its present position.

Rescued in 1951 by the inestimable Californian branch of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, they proceeded with its relocation, and restoration to the landmark we can visit and appreciate today.

The unique shape resulted in optimising the light coming into the house. Downstairs is now open-plan with the divisions of the rooms removed, but they are retained upstairs. Here also are exhibited priceless documents dating from the founding of the American Republic.

An intriguing aspect of its history is the discovery of a time capsule in a wall by an electrician. Placed there by McElroy, it contained newspaper extracts and a lengthy important letter written by him.
Written 28 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dospalmas2018
Mill Valley, CA15 contributions
I finally got there when it was open! Lucky me.
Aug 2018 • Solo
McElroy Octagon House
A Museum of Decorative Arts from the American Colonial and Federal Periods
After several attempts to arrange my trips to the San Francisco area to coincide with the limited schedule of the McElroy Octagon House, I finally was able to visit this wonderful museum. The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in California has done an impressive building restoration and has created beautiful displays of mostly Colonial period furnishings.
The Octagon House underwent extensive renovation under the guidance of Warren C. Perry, Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of California. The quality of the design work and the craftsmanship of this restoration show that the “Dames” took particular care to be true to their roots of the American colonies. Octagon House is a museum of decorative arts and furniture from the American Colonial and Federal periods. The collection contains portraits, ceramics, pewter and needlework samplers, as well as an exhibit of historical documents relevant to the founding of the nation.
More impressive than the outstanding building and wonderful collections were the Dames themselves! The Docents and Hostess were friendly and extremely knowledgeable. They shared their interest with a passion. As I was shown around I interacted with several Dames, sometimes with more than one expert at a time! This was an outstanding visit and I am looking forward to a return adventure when I can share this wonderful place with other family members.
Thank you very much,
Murphy Musick
Patagonia, AZ
Written 24 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kareneverest2015
Cranbury, NJ8 contributions
Love it
Jun 2018 • Couples
we took the bus that take you everywhere .. we where able to see this house (bus ride) , the all architecture in SF is amazing
Written 19 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

amy c
San Francisco, CA4 contributions
Octagon House in SF
Jul 2018
This place has VERY limited hours. It has a collection of some colonial pieces and a bit of history of colonists on the west coast. It's not very large and will take about 30 minutes(depending on your interest) to look through the place. There were some very informative docents. Worth a look if you happen to be around during their opened hours. I lived in SF for 47 years before I made it inside.
Written 9 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tanmouss
Oslo, Norway1,629 contributions
Tricky opening hours/days
Aug 2016 • Family
Nice peculiar architecture and colors from the outside. It has been marked as a San Francisco landmark. But it was closed and opening hours and days are not many. So this visit should be planned.
Written 31 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ruben O
Montclair, CA39 contributions
Something interesting!
Aug 2016 • Family
We were on are last day of are family vacation and saw the octagon house through trip advisor. Did not know what to expect, this was really interesting just to check out. There isn't much to do but see the how this house is shaped like an octagon, it really is amazing how this house was built. It's definitely makes you think of who decided to built there house like this and why, it's just something to check out and it's free.
Written 15 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jeff M
Las Vegas, NV1,234 contributions
Neat from the Outside
Jul 2016 • Family
Walked by from the outside and it looks neat. Very limited hours when they are open so please check their website if you want to see inside.
Written 28 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Belgo96
Brisbane, Australia3,610 contributions
Attractive and unique design
Sep 2015 • Couples
This is a really beautiful house from the outside. Situated on Gough Street between Union and Green Streets, near a lovely little park. The only problem is that it has (as an understatement) very limited opening hours. From memory I think it is the second Sunday of every month, except of course, if that Sunday butts up against a public holiday (Labor Day Monday for example), from 12 noon to 3pm only. I believe it may also be open during the second and forth Thursday of the month (you see what I mean) so check their website before making a special trip here (nscda-ca.org/octagon-house). If you are an American history fan, you'll enjoy the time spent with the docents during the limited opening hours. I just love the design of the house itself alone. The area it is in is very attractive and it is really close to the best of Union Street dining and shopping, so you could work it in with a visit to that.
Written 17 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jlantern3
Columbia, SC10,763 contributions
neat ...from the outside
Jul 2014 • Friends
friends and I stopped, only to find the place closed. has an interesting look from the outside. check beforehand to see if opened.
Written 15 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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