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Octagon House

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1890. 1992. South corner of the intersection of Hampshire County 16 and 16/1

Thought to be West Virginia's only remaining octagonal house, this two-story frame dwelling is a relatively late example of a building type promulgated by phrenologist Orson Squire Fowler. In his A Home for All, or the Gravel Wall and Octagonal Mode of Building, published in 1848, Fowler claimed the shape provided the greatest amount of space within the smallest wall surface. Unlike most examples, the Capon Springs house takes little advantage of the unusual room shapes that an octagonal plan makes possible or almost demands. Basically a Greek cross in room arrangement, it originally contained simple rectangular spaces. Tiny triangular porches in the angles between the arms of the cross complete the octagonal shape. In an arrangement usual for the type, sections of hipped roofs converge at the center, where a chimney rises above the roofline.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.


What's Nearby


S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Octagon House", [Wardensville, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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