Octagon House (Watertown, Wisconsin)
|Location||919 Charles St., Watertown, Wisconsin|
|Architectural style||Octagon Mode|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||November 23, 1971|
The Octagon House in Watertown, Wisconsin, also known as the Octagon House Museum or the John Richards Octagon House, was built in 1854 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It is one of many octagon houses built in the United States in the mid-19th century.
The house was designed and built by John Richards, a lawyer and mill owner, with construction completed in 1854. It was still in the Richards family until the death of his grandson, William Thomas, in 1935. The family offered to sell the house to the city (reputedly for $1) but it was sold to the Watertown Historical Society (founded 1933), and opened to the public in 1938. The house is still a museum open to the public.
The house is built of brick, and is 50 feet across excluding the balconies. It has eight square rooms on each floor and triangular rooms in the corners, a total of 29 rooms including the cupola. The porches or verandas running all round the house are constructed in timber. They are part of the original design, but by 1924 they were so rotten as to be dangerous, and Richards' daughter had them taken down. For many years visitors could only imagine the house with its porches by referring to a scale model of the house, which sits in the grass next to the house. The porches were reconstructed in 1978 at a cost of $50,000. By 2006 they were again in a dangerous condition and an anonymous donation enabled them to be restored once more.
- Octagon house: the article features the Watertown octagon house as a case study and includes the Historic American Building Survey drawings.
- List of octagon houses
- First Kindergarten, the first kindergarten in the United States, located on the same grounds as the Octagon House.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- Page at Watertown Historical Society
- *Main page at Watertown Historical Society
- Octagon House: 1 photo, 5 drawings, 5 data pages, and supplemental information, at Historic American Building Survey
- Watertown Daily Times article about the recent restoration
Media related to Octagon House (Watertown, WI) at Wikimedia Commons