Fielding Bowman

Double Octagon House

A few months ago, when my dad came over for dinner, we got to talking about a building that’s always loomed large in my imagination: a house in Connecticut compromised of two connected octagons.

The house still exists, sort-of. These days it’s much larger and the original octagons are barely visible. But when the house was finished in 1968 and my grandparents moved in, it was as you see in the image above, an uncompromisingly weird late modern home — two octagons connected by a little kitchen.

But when my dad and I were talking about the house over dinner, I had never seen it in that original state. I had imagined it many times. I’d even seen the modified one in person; years ago I went and knocked on the door and told the residents it used to be my grandparents house. They raised their eyebrows.

So it was a great suprise to me when, over dinner, a tiny piece of information popped into my father’s head:

“Fielding Bowman,” he said out loud.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“That was the architect of the Greenwich house.”