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Crime & Punishment: Hartford Police Officer in Trouble For Comparing Black Men To Gorillas
Eight-sided buildings were an architectural trend in the mid 19th century, spurred on by proto-psychologist Orson Squire Fowler, who wrote that they improved health by allowing for a greater influx of natural lighting. One of his followers was a Danbury carpenter who completed the city's Octagon House in 1853. Though it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house was abandoned by its last owner a year ago. Since then, "the plethora of doors and windows... once intended to bring sunlight into the interior of the structure have also become easy access points for vagrants," reports the Danbury News-Times. "The 19th century home with Victorian accents, sweeping verandas, fine woodwork, a spiral staircase and eight sides is now home to squatters, peeling paint, empty condom wrappers and vodka bottles, hordes of flies and human feces," a reporter found. As many as six homeless people take to it each night and some are territorial; a city official once boarded up a doorway in the house only to find a vagrant had turned the plywood into a door and placed a padlock on it to keep other squatters out.
By Nick Keppler
July 30, 2013