Talk:Octagon house

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Examples of octagon houses[edit]

For those interested, there are two octagon houses less than a mile apart on Ramshorn Rd, in Dudley, Massachusetts, US. I drive by them several times a week. From the car, they seem to be pretty old. --Ebon Elza 23:51, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

At least if they're listed on the National Register of Historic Places, they would deserve articles. However, I don't spot likely candidates for these on the List of Registered Historic Places in Worcester County, Massachusetts. doncram (talk) 23:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)


There was an advertisement for an octagon house in Fond du Lac, WI pasted into this page. It was inappropriate for Wikipedia although of interest, as an octagon house open to the public as a museum / tourist attraction. For more information see ["].

Actually that house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, indicating notability, and deserves an article. I just started the article, at Octagon House (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin), and I included an external link to the above URL. The notability for NRHP listing apparently includes the fact that it was a stop on the Underground railway. I didn't see the "advertisement" about it, but thanks for keeping some notice about it here. doncram (talk) 00:02, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Title Discussion[edit]

The title of this page is "Octagon house", but the article is about the 19th Century/Early 20th Century architectural movement/fad using the octagon as an organizing plan element. Since the article is about a movement, I suggest that the article title should not limit itself to "house", particularly since the movement included structures other than residences (ie, barns were as important in this movement as houses were.) --Baxterguy 14:12, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd advise against extending this article to octagonal buildings generally - there is a completely different rationale for say an octagonal church, octagonal defensive structure etc. The octagon house is a particular and separate phenomenon, quite separate from the use of the octagon in public buildings. Although there are European examples, the style was only widely adopted in America, so it is specific to both time and place. The octagon is not the natural or logical plan form for a house: because of the relatively small plan size all the rooms are likely to have one wall at 45 degrees to the rest. Not easy to furnish, but this was a popular style exhibiting a fascinating range of architectural variations, well worth considering for their own merits.
The Knights Templar don't belong here.
ProfDEH (talk) 23:32, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
There should be an architecture article about the architectural fad spurred by Orson Fowler's pattern book. There is enough material out there. Perhaps this "Octagon house" article should be moved to "Octagon mode architecture" or "Octagon house fad" or "Octagon house design of Orson Fowler" or some more descriptive title. doncram (talk) 00:10, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I have effectively merged this with the relevant parts of List of octagonal buildings and structures so that this page can be devoted to the Victorian octagon house. These are essentially domestic buildings and need to be kept distinct from larger, more formal buildings. The article is by no means finished and additional material, both on Fowler and on related contemporary buildings, is much needed. ProfDEH (talk) 22:41, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Historic images[edit]

Many images are available from Library of Congress image library, Consent for images (available through LC) from the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscape Survey Collection is at ProfDEH (talk) 07:19, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Watertown Octagon images: acknowledgement should quote (B&W photo and drawings), for corresponding b&w image.
These are my notes for expanding the article. I have downloaded a set of drawings of the Watertown WI house. Not sure yet whether to use them as a case study, or put them on the Watertown Octagon House page. ProfDEH (talk) 07:28, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I've put these images in the article in the form of a case study. The house is reasonably typical and I think it is better to go into depth here not at Octagon House (Watertown, Wisconsin). ProfDEH (talk) 08:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Examples etc.[edit]

Note esp. to User:Clariosophic - sorry to mangle your recent contribution, it spurred me to finally stop procrastinating and do the edits I've been mulling over for weeks. Not finished yet but rearranged the gallery as examples of design variations. I'm writing more on Fowler, offline as yet, to cover the gravel wall etc. Got his book from Amazon so no shortage of material. ProfDEH (talk) 12:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

No problem. The end result is what counts and it looks much better now. clariosophic (talk) 18:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC) An interesting variation that you might want to work into the text is the Clapp Octagon House, ca. 1880, St. Augustine, Florida, in which the second story is smaller than the first and the porches are indents rather than add ons. A recent photo is here.clariosophic (talk) 19:47, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Strange house. I guess the indentation is just on one side. ProfDEH (talk) 21:00, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Renaming, again[edit]

I am thinking again that this article should be renamed, probably to "Octagon house (architectural style)" or "Octagon house architecture". There are other architectural style articles out there, like Colonial Revival architecture and Queen Anne Style architecture.

This comes up because of someone's decision to reorganize the set up of articles here, so now "Octagon House" (rather than "Octagon House (disambiguation)" is a disambiguation page, which seems bad to me given that this page is named the same except one downcased letter. I raised discussion about that Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation#disambig when dab would have same name except capitalization as another. But, a solution to any weirdness would be move this page to a name clearly showing it is an architectural style, and then either Octagon House or Octagon house could be the dab, with the other redirecting to the dab. doncram (talk) 12:37, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

As you know I think the term octagon house is used mostly as a reference to the style, and the disambiguation should be subsidiary. If you were looking for a place called the 'something octagon house' you'd be directed here and immediately see there is a list of such houses. It would certainly better if the capitalisation made no difference.

While I'm at it, can we get someone to grade the article? ProfDEH (talk) 16:05, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


This article may interest contributors to this article. (talk) 20:35, 21 February 2010 (UTC)