- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 23 Nov 2020
Previously, Adam- or Federal-style buildings had occasionally featured octagonal wings or projections, so the octagon form was not a new creation. Several prominent designers (including Thomas Jefferson) built octagon buildings in the United States in the late 18th and early 19th century, but the octagon house form seldom appeared until it was reintroduced to the public through the writings of Orson Squire Fowler in 1848.
He viewed the octagon form as a healthful, economical, and modern innovation in housing and argued that it offered increased sunlight and ventilation, as well as savings on heating and building costs.
Octagon houses were built across the US but were more of an anomaly than a common style. The Northeast and Midwest had the greatest number of octagon buildings. Octagon houses often incorporated elements of other styles, the Greek and Gothic Revival styles, and especially the Italianate.
Few residences were built in the octagon style after 1865. However, the octagon form continued to be used for barn and outbuilding construction from the mid to late-1800s. Tollhouse and railroad stations of this era were sometimes built in the octagon form as well.
Typical identifiable features of the octagon style include the following:
- Octagonal shaped building.
- Low pitched hipped roof.
- Wide overhanging eaves.
- Brackets at the cornice.
- Partial or fully encircling porch.
- Octagonal cupola on some versions.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
CIC 2050 Group requests input to find out priorities for future industry leaders.
IHBC publishes response to consultation.
Institute applauds funding initiatives but presses for additional retrofit and tax measures.
The switch from analogue to digital has begun.
The fourth industrial revolution is well underway.
Free online resource will offer guidance on conserving places and the planet during COP26.
Government allocates additional money for building new homes on derelict land.
Smart built environments can be designed around the requirements of real people.
Consistency is at the core of realistic strategies.