The 84-Year-Old Visionary With One Answer for Two Real Estate Crises

The New York Times   June 28, 2024

"Today, the ideas Mr. Lombardi pioneered nearly 50 years ago are serving as a template for addressing twin problems: the city’s enormous office glut and its growing housing crisis. Mr. Lombardi, now 84 and still running a 16-person firm, is part of a wave of architects and developers now undertaking the mammoth work of converting financially distressed office buildings into multifamily housing.

Mayor Eric Adams’s newly established Office Conversion Accelerator seeks to expedite the transformation of some of New York City’s 100 million square feet of vacant office space into housing. The city has also proposed zoning changes that will make virtually all office buildings in the five boroughs eligible for conversion, with the hope of spurring the creation of 20,000 new housing units."

Lower Manhattan 2000

Joseph Pell Lombardi   November 14, 1991 Conference

"Cathedrals of Commerce," set side by side with a 19th Century seaport, 18th Century churches, and all laid out in a 17th Century street pattern. What a marvelous wonder we occupy here."

Field Trip: The Armour-Stiner Octagon House

Tribeca Citizen   December 12, 2022

"[Lombardi] and his family have spent the decades since 1978 restoring the house: adding electricity, heating and plumbing, stabilizing the dome, excavating the grounds and reimagining just about every feature to get it as close to the original as possible. He’s made custom rugs from remnants he discovered in the basement; repainted the walls in silver foil to replicate the paint he uncovered under layers of whitewash; re-etched glass windows; decorated with furniture discovered at auction with Stiner’s order number still stapled to the bottom. He found one piece of silver in the dirt under the porch and spent years reassembling a set for the dining room."

Consider an Octagon

The New York Times   December 9, 2022

"Joseph Pell Lombardi, an architect who owns and restored the magnificent Armour-Stiner House, in Irvington, N.Y., agrees that the many windows provide prodigious light. “In a square or rectangular house, there are times of day when the sun’s hitting the corner, and there’s less light coming in the house,” Mr. Lombardi, 82, said. “In an octagonal house, as the sun goes around, the different rooms stay in sunshine. That’s just terrific.”"

Road Trip: Close to Home

News 12, Hudson Valley   November, 2022

"One of the most unique homes in all the Hudson Valley is inviting you to take a Road Trip: Close to Home in Irvington and step back in time."

Ghost Story Comes Out of the Woodwork - On 8 Sides

Scarsdale Inquirer   October, 2022

"The Armour-Stiner Octagon House, the historic eight-sided building in Irvington, lends itself to thoughts of the supernatural, especially at this time of year. With that in mind, the landmark is upping its game this month by offering visitors a chance to witness ghostly visions in person."

Episode 498: The Octagon House

99 Percent Invisible, Podcast   July 5, 2022

"They also have one more feature of significant note: octagonal houses are exceptionally good at withstanding hurricanes. Their somewhat more rounded shape and compact structure can help allow high winds to pass around them while adjacent rectangular homes get flattened. It wasn’t a benefit Fowler had in mind, and isn’t why people built these to begin with, but it is one reason that they continue to be built today."

Chateau du Sailhant

Chateaus and Families   June 6, 2022

"In his work Mr. Lombardi was guided by the principle that "the facsimile is always worse than the ruin". The restored castle is a house museum and a holiday residence - he doesn't feel this medieval home is too big and uncomfortable. Mr. Lombardi says medieval fortresses were built to look bigger than they really are. Why? Because the prime purpose of such a fortress was to scare the hell out of any enemy."

1 Tank Adventure, The Armour-Stiner Octagon House

The Patch   November, 2021

"One of the most visually unique homes in the world is in the Hudson Valley and the holidays are an especially magical time to visit."

An 8-Sided Marvel in New York's Hudson Valley

National Trust for Historic Preservation   November, 2020

"Forty-two years ago, preservation architect Joseph Pell Lombardi took a risk. He purchased the spectacular but dilapidated Armour-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, from the National Trust, which had bought it in 1976 to save it from demolition. “It was the most extraordinary house,” Lombardi says."

Family Turned Their Historic Home Into a Museum

House Beautiful   September 3, 2020

"Upon visiting this magnificent house, expect to be taken aback by its unique pink color and fanciful architecture (which you’ll immediately want to post on Instagram). Inside, you’ll see various pieces of Victorian furniture and an Egyptian Revival room that is the only domestic room of its kind, complete with its original 19th-century decor. The home is named after two former owners, financier Paul J. Armour and tea importer Joseph Stiner."

Labor of Love

Bee Local   Summer, 2020

"Its circular form and rose color catch the eye immediately. It’s a house like no other on West Clinton Avenue in Irvington, like no other in the village itself, indeed like no other in the world. The nineteenth-century Amour-Stiner (Octagon) House has been called “lyrical,” “whimsical,” even “an arrested carousel.” Owner and noted preservation architect Joseph Pell Lombardi calls the house “a labor of love,” because his restoration of it has spanned more than 40 years."

101 World's Greatest Castles

Future   December, 2019

"Over 300 miles south of Loire Valley, the fortified walls of Château du Sailhant cling elegantly to a volcanic spur, suspended high above the carpeted forest below. Begun in the 10th century, the imposing walls were crafted from locally-sourced grey lava stone – as were the castle’s sky-piercing turreted towers."

Crazy Eight

Antiques, The Magazine   September, 2019

"Now open for visits, the Armour-Stiner House in the lower Hudson River valley is an ebullient testament to painstaking historic preservation."

Just a Short Trip From the City

Travel + Leisure   August 20, 2019

"Westchester County is also home to many architecturally intriguing historic houses, including John D. Rockefeller’s Kykuit; the Armour-Stiner Octagon House, modeled after the Tempietto at Rome’s San Pietro in Montorio church; Lyndhurst, the Jay Gould estate; and Sunnyside, where Washington Irving wrote “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”"

Octagon House Now Available to Tour

Architectural Digest   May 29, 2019

"The Armour-Stiner Octagon House, located at 45 West Clinton Avenue, is one of Westchester's most unique residences. The dwelling is on the National Register of Historic Places and features an octagonal design with a large dome that overlooks the water and the property's lush three acres. Now the home is opening its doors to design enthusiasts looking to tour the distinctive property."

Tour of Eight-Sided Home in Westchester Co.

NBC New York   April 29, 2019

"An octagonal house in Westchester County has been restored."

Irvington's Octagon House Now Open for Tours

Lohud   April 23, 2019

"The only known, fully domed, eight-sided home in the world has a new distinction.

Irvington's Armour-Stiner Octagon House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has just become a house museum, open for public tours.

Joseph Pell Lombardi, an Irvington native and noted preservation architect, bought the then-derelict landmark in 1978 and has spent the ensuing 41 years bringing it back to life."

L'architecte qui a changé le visage d New York

La Dépêche   March, 2019

"Des gratte-ciel de New York au château du Sailhant, dans le Cantal, le contraste est saisissant. Mais dans ces deux lieux que tout semble opposer, c’est la même passion pour la conservation des bâtiments historiques qui anime l’architecte américain Joseph Pell Lombardi."

"The Octagon House" (Video)

NBC   January 2018

"This home is one of the most unique structures you'll ever see. The landmarked 'Armour-Stiner Octagon House' was built in the 1860s and is reputedly the last domed octagonal residence in the US. Through the years it fell into disrepair until owner and preservation architect Joseph Pell Lombardi lovingly returned it to its former glory."

Joseph Pell Lombardi: "Je suis devenu Cantalou"

L'union   January 6, 2018

"The Rotary Club of Saint-Flour paid tribute to New York architect Joseph Pell Lombardi by giving him the Paul Harris Fellow Award on December 27th.
"The prize honors members and non-members of the Rotary Club, for their involvement in furthering culture and transmitting it to future generations as a heritage."

"Le Rotary a remis le PHF au propriétaire du Château du Sailhant"

La Montagne   December 29, 2017

"C'est un grand honneur pour moi de recevoir ce prix, devant ma famille. Maintenant, je suis vraiment Cantalou"

"Collector of Houses"

Antiques and Fine Art Magazine   Winter, 2017

"Joseph Pell Lombardi has always been obsessed by houses -- old houses in particular -- and cannot remember a time when he wanted to do anything other than care for them."

"Lombardi Lecture a Hit at Museum

The Putnam County News and Recorder   March 15, 2017

"Joseph Lombardi shared the history of the Valhalla Highlands to an audience of over 70 people during a lecture at the Putnam History Museum on Saturday, March 11. He also discussed his personal experiences in the Lake Valhalla community during the 1940s and 1950s. A quick Q & A session and light refreshments followed the presentation. Lombardi will return to PHM for an encore Lake Valhalla lecture on Saturday, April 8, at 3pm."

"Joseph Pell Lombardi Lecture To Be Held At Putnam History Museum"

The Putnam County News and Recorder   February 22, 2017

"Join the Putnam History Museum for a presentation by world-renowned architect, Joseph Pell Lombardi on March 11 at 3pm. The lecture will be an explanation of how and why Valhalla Highlands came into being and its cultural and historical significance to the nation."

"Summers at Lake Valhalla"

The Highlands Current   February 3, 2017

"In 1996, Alberta Areskog wrote about Lake Valhalla in the 1930s, “I guess everyone thinks their years were the best, but I know I had the best of Lake Valhalla.” In assembling the material for my book, Valhalla Highlands: The First Thirty Years, 1929-1958, I heard this same sentiment from everyone who spent time at the lake regardless of whether it was the 1930s, the 1980s or last year."

La Renaissance D'Une Forteresse

Massif Central   December 2016

"Grâce à la passion d'un architecte americain, le château du Sailhant, au cœur du pays de Saint-Flour (Cantal), a échappé à un destin tragique. Après quinze ans de travaux, il dévoile des pans d’histoire crustillants et une mutation calquée sur la version originale."

"Owner Relocates Greenhouse to Landmark Property"

The Rivertown Enterprise   September 16, 2016

"Using a passion for historic restoration and a talent for detective work, the owner of Octagon House, preservation architect Joseph Pell Lombardi, and his son, Michael Lombardi, reinstated a Lord & Burnham greenhouse on the property, creating a replica of the one that originally stood in the same location next to the carriage house."

"Depuis le 1er juillet, les Cantaliens et les touristes peuvent visiter le château et son jardin"

La Montagne   July 16, 2016

"Au bout de vingt ans de restauration, le château du Sailhant à Andelat ouvre ses portes et livre tous ses secrets au public lors de visites guidées."

"Sauvetage américain pour le château du Sailhant

L'Union du Cantal   June 8, 2016

"C'est à un architecte newyorkais que le château du Sailhant doit sa survie et sa renaissance"

Château du Sailhant - Suivez le guide à partir du 1er juillet!

La Dépêche   June 1, 2016

"A jewel of the French heritage. A visit you should not miss."

Un architecte américan sauve le château du Sailhant

La Montagne   May 28, 2016

Passionné de patrimoine et tombé sous le charme du château du Sailhant, à Andelat, Joseph Pell Lombardi a mis vingt ans à restaurer l’édifice.

"Le château du Sailhant livre ses secrets"

La Dépêche d'Auvergne   January 2, 2016

"Quand l’architecte new-yor-kais Joseph Pell Lombardi arrive devant le château du Sailhant, à la fin des années 90, il est immédiatement conquis et il sait déjà qu’il va l’acheter."

"Barneys New York Will Get 54 New Apartments, Hotel Rooms"

Curbed   December 11, 2015

"Barneys New York, the iconic Upper East Side department store, may soon have more to attract visitors beyond its creative window displays and high-end clothing."

Upper East Side's Best Townhouse Pool Sells for $26 Million

Curbed   November 7, 2013

"... a Joseph Pell Lombardi-designed renovation."

"Transformative Architecture"

Aspire   May 2012

“The built environment is part of our environment and therefore conserving it is part of the conservation concept.”

"Who Owns Irving's Stunning Octagon House?"

About Town   November 17, 2010

"He's close to reaching his goal of making it look the way it did in the 1870s, including the garden and the interiors. His obsession with detail lead him to track down unique shades of pink and purple paint and he spent years pursuing a particular antique bedroom set, which depicts Hudson River scenes and features octagonal bedposts."

“Treading on Medieval Ground”

Architectural Digest   January 2010

“A rose may be a rose may be a rose, but there are castles and there are castles.”

"Through the Looking Glass"

The Architect's Newspaper   June 3, 2009

"When Joseph Pell Lombardi first went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission to present the Glass Atelier-"

"Bricks made of glass will build these Tribeca homes"

Downtown Express   February 2009

"Joseph Pell Lombardi's design for a new six-story building in Tribeca has all the hallmarks of the historic neighborhood: brick arches, tall windows and fine detailing on the cornice and storefront."

"Inside the Home of Joseph Pell Lombardi "

The Real Deal   November 2008

"During the week, architect Joseph Pell Lombardi helms a 20-person firm in Manhattan that has specialized in historic conversion projects for almost 40 years. On weekends, he does the same thing with his own homes."

"Design Icons "

New York Times Supplement   March 4, 2007

"In today's highly charged real estate market, some of the most prominent architects and engineers are being challenged to bring their distinctive visions to residential buildings."

"Inside the Octagon"

The Rivertowns Enterprise   September 15, 2006

"On eve of party, owner allows peek at architectural landmark."

"Victorian Splendor"

Upstate House   May 2006

"How architect Joseph Lombardi restored this treasured Irvington home, bringing it back from the brink of decay to its exotic grandeur.

"Designing New Manufacturing-Looking Buildings in TriBeCa"

Downtown Express   November 18-24, 2005

"At a C.B. 1 meeting Tuesday, Lombardi presented the new design in which he'd implemented the suggestions of the Landmarks Committee"

"8 Wonders of Westchester: From Phrenology to Fantasy - The Octagon House"

Westchester Magazine   October 2004

"An eight-sided obsession - the man behind the Octagon House"

"The Next Big Things, 36 Hudson"

New York Magazine   March 8, 2004

"The Mohawk Building, developed and designed by Joseph Pell Lombardi (55 Liberty Street), is a loft conversion of twelve condos..."

"Bouley's TriBeCa Building Entrusted to Developer"

New York Post   December 19, 2002

"Chef David Bouley has finally come up with an exit strategy for the TriBeCa building he once hoped to turn into a foodie haven..."

"Sugar Relics Are Reborn On Each Side of Hudson"

New York Times   March 15, 2002

"Two former sugar processing facilities on opposite sides of the Hudson River, vestiges of one of the area's most profitable 19th-century industries...."

"At High-Rise Towers, Views Without Terror"

New York Times   October 18, 2001

"When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, most people nearby fled down stairs and uptown, but Joseph Lombardi did the opposite: despite injuring his leg in the tumult, he headed to Liberty Tower on Nassau Street, one block from ground zero, and took an elevator to his penthouse apartment on the 29th floor."

"São Paolo Pode Repetir Expêriencia de Nova York"

Gazeta Mercani   March 23-25, 2001

"ARQUITETO norte-americano afirma que transformação de prédios de escritórios em imóveis residenciais pode melhorar o centro de capital..."

"Un Américain Recréé la Vie Châtelaine"

La Montagne   August 12, 2000

"Joseph Pell Lombardi est depuis trois ans le nouveau propriétaire du château du Sailhant, à Andelat."

"He Restores Castles in Europe, But He Lives Downtown"

Downtown Express   March 28 - April 10, 2000

An article on Joseph Pell Lombardi, his homes and restoration projects in New York and Europe.

"Melding 5 Structures for a TriBeCa Condo"

New York Times   January 30 2000

"Five adjoining 19th-century brick buildings - 14 to 22 Leonard Street in the TriBeCa West Historic District - are being transformed into the Juilliard Building...."

"Chelsea Factory Plans to Go Condo"

New York Times   June 25, 1999

"For most of this century, the neo-Renaissance industrial building at 126 West 22nd Street housed offices and light manufacturing operations...."

"Glass Houses Praised"

The Tribeca Trib   February 1999

"The design for a two-story, glass-enclosed penthouse addition atop one of the city's most distinguised cast-iron landmarks was lauded by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last month..."

"An 8-Story 1894 Loft Building Being Restored in SoHo"

New York Times   September 6, 1998

"In 1910, the tenants of the eight-story building at 473-475 Broadway included manufacturers of lace, embroidery and...."

"A Hotel for Greene Street"

New York Times   July 24, 1997

"A hodgepodge of five buildings along Greene Street in SoHo reminds Tony Goldman of a smile with a few missing teeth. But that will change once his $15 million hotel...."

"Ruined Castle will be Rebuilt"

Budapest Sun   July 24, 1997

"A globe-trotting collector of unusal homes be will among the first beneficiaries of Hungary's recently-announced castle giveaway..."

"Mint egy megállitot korhinta"

Szalon   1997

"New Yorktól nem eqészen fel órányira, a Hudson folyó magas dombokkal szegélyezett keleti partján fekvő Irvington városkában "különös, nyolcszegletű ház" all..."

"1905 Ice House to be a Condominium"

New York Times,   November 24, 1996

"A 1905 Renaissance Revival structure that was built as a refrigeration plant in TriBeCa is to become 49 condominium lofts as part of a $15 million conversion...."

"The Ghosts of Teapot Dome"

New York Times   January 28, 1996

"YOU would not know it when you set foot in Joseph Pell Lombardi's apartment, but a major episode in American history was played out in the rooms where he ...."

"A Home for Music"

Country Life   February 11, 1993

An article about the commencement of Joseph Pell Lombardi 's role in the conservation planning of the Eszterháza Castle in Hungary.

"A Peek Inside Irvington's Historic Gem"

Enterprise   November 1991

"Of all the historic sights in the quad-villages, none is as striking as Irvington's Armour-Stiner Octagon House..."

"Three Kudos for an Eight-Sided House"

Hudson Valley   November, 1991

"...Lombardi is being recognized for restoring the only domed octagonal home in the world, the Armour-Stiner House in Irvington."

"One Man, Three Homes, One Mission: Preserving Architectural Treasures"

New York Times   July 5, 1990

"SOME people collect salt and pepper shakers. Joseph Pell Lombardi collects houses...."

"Owner Finds Many Sides to Restoring Victorian Jewel "

Preservation News   June 1990

"When in 1977 the National Trust purchased a 19th-century octagon house in Irvington-On-Hudson, NY, the building's most distinguished architectural feature, its wood-framed, slate-covered dome, had literally come apart at the seams..."

"Rubble With a Cause"

Daily News Magazine   January 1988

"Joseph Pell Lombardi is 47 years old, and while the world isn't beating a path to his door -- yet -- city officials from Venice, Italy, did come knocking recently. They wanted the maverick architect to help restore a couple of 15th- and 16th-century palaces."