image by http://www.mctgphotography.com/
The Richard Peacon House is often known as the Octagon House due to its octagonal construction. However, the design of the house could not be described exactly as octagonal, since it is more of a rectangular structure that incorporates a multi-sided front. It appears that the octagonal projection in the front portion of the house was a later addition to the original structure. It is situated at 712 Eaton Street in the Old Town area of Key West in the state of Florida. Richard Peacon, who lived between 1840 and 1914, was the owner of the leading grocery store of the island and the store was at 800 Fleming Street. He got this unique house built for him around 1885. Richard Peacon became one of the founding directors of the Island City National Bank later.
The Richard Peacon House is one of the two octagon houses in the island. The other house is situated at 620 Dey Street. That house is towards the northwest of the Richard Peacon House. Hence, this makes this house as the southernmost house of octagon shape in the entire United States. Daughter of Richard Peacon, Clara Chester Curry, was living in the house until Angelo Donghia, an interior designer of New York bought it from her in 1974.
Donghia got the house renovated and restored in 1975 with the help of Fred Cole to make it one of the main showpieces of the island. Calvin Klein, the internationally reputed fashion designer bought this house in 1980 from Donghia for an incredible price of $975,000 but sold it in 1987. The huge price that Klein paid for this house was the talk of the town and headlines of local newspapers for several days at that time.
The Richard Peacon House is one of the important tourist attractions of Key West and its historical district of Old Town. It is also part of the walking tour or ghost tour of the island and its cemeteries. This house has obtained an entry on the National Register of Historical Places in Key West, Florida. The house was also featured in ‘Key West Gardens and Their Stories’, a book published in 2000.