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The Little Apple's Octagon: Cut-Rate Asylum Living

Want to experience madhouse living, but aren't quite ready to commit yourself? The Daily News has the scoop lowdown on a rental complex for you: The Octagon on Roosevelt Island. The place could boast a blurb from Mr. Local Color himself, Charles Dickens: "Everything had a lounging, listless, madhouse air ... [but] the building is handsome." So you won't actually be living in the old insane asylum: You can still shoot a game of pool in the former institution's landmarked octagonal tower, located near the north end of the two-mile East River island. Some 500 units come up for lease next month, with a March move-in planned. For renters dubbed "middle income" (aka not more than about twice the average), studios start at $1,300, one-bedrooms start at $1,600, and two-bedrooms will rent for $2,100 and up. But lest you think the developers are mildly insane, those prices are only for 100 of the units.
· Rentals rise on Roosevelt [NYDN]
· The Octagon []

UPDATE: More historical musings on the Octagon from a recent NYMag.