The unique staircase of an octagon house

July 02, 2013 1 min read

There are many unique styles of home layout that have come in and out of popularity here in the United States over the past few centuries. While people may pine for Victorian-style mansions or Modernist masterpieces, the majority of us generally have settled for some variation of a standard Colonial residence. As a result, the run-of-the-mill residence usually doesn't feature an overly elaborate staircase, but usually one or two straight flights that pour into the main entryway. However, one kind of home architecture that had been popular for a period of time during the 1800s called for a complicated staircase in homes that were unique yet generally affordable.

An octagon house is an almost cylindrical kind of structure that features eight sides as opposed to the traditional four found on Capes and Colonials. The popularity of these structures during the latter part of the 19th Century is attributed largely to the advocacy of architect Orson Squire Fowler, who wrote about and designed these houses during the height of his career. He lauded these structures for their affordability of construction and great economy of space.

In most octagon houses, the rooms revolve around a central staircase, which spirals up the core of the structure all the way to an Italianate rooftop veranda. These structures can be gorgeous depending on the setting, allowing owners to enjoy homes that are both economically viable and aesthetically interesting. Many feature beautiful balustrades with box newels and other impressive stair parts. Yet you don't need to own an octagon house to also have an impressive staircase - just peruse the pieces at Stair Parts USA.

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