Circles and Squares

by nkluz

I relocated a while ago to Somerville, which makes me non-contemporaneous neighbors with Enoch Robinson. After moving to Somerville from Boston in 1847, the hardware, lock and knob-maker constructed the “Round House” on Atheron St. It’s in the Spring Hill area of town.


According to this informative article, “fascinated by challenges, Enoch Robinson invented perpetual motion machines as a hobby” as well as building himself this house, which reminds me of a cross between a birthday cake and a light house. Robinson also made some pretty intricate-sounding glass and metal hardware that’s still in public buildings around Boston.

I’m sure you could do something here with the phrase about “fitting a square peg in a round hole” but can’t think of it right now.

According to Wikipedia, the house is an offspring of the ideas of Orson Fowler, the mid-19th-century phrenologist and social reformer who wrote the book The Octagon House: A Home for All. Not just a novelty, the round or octagonal house is a utopian idea – a more innovative place to live.

Also, there’s supposed to be a round skylight at the top of the house – !