I’ve started a love affair: with a house. While I’ve resided in Washington now for almost 17 years I had formed never visited the Octagon House despite always hearing about it from friends. Oh I’ll visit someday was my thought. Well one rainy Saturday this past fall I stopped at and dropped in love.
Not only is the home open free of charge to the general public, you typically have it to yourself to explore at your own pace (which I love). I promptly setup a later tour for our Mid-Atlantic branch of the ICAA by making use of a friend. While the sharp details are certainly elegant, the real beauty is based on the plan (as always, click the image to see in more detail).
While the site was rural AND waterfront when the home was built-in 1799, early in Washington’s history, the home is exceedingly metropolitan. The architect, William Thornton, will need to have foreseen the city that could grow surrounding the house predicated on L’Enfant’s plan. Colonel John Tayloe III experienced the home built on the advice of his friend George Washington as his winter in-town residence and it remained as his households primary home until 1855 at the loss of life of his wife. A nearby was no more fashionable and his children rented the house away; first as a girl’s school, then to the Federal government as Naval offices, until it finally was a tenement.
In 1898 the AIA stepped in (American Institute of Architects) …