The Octagon House

wash up

wash up, photo by n.elle.

Nicole writes:

a few of us from exposure detroit took a road trip up to the northern burbs and further. some poked fun that i wanted to stop at the octagon house, but i think it’s a pretty cool building.

tucked behind the octagon house were a few old barns. sitting out it front of one of them was this old claw foot tub and sink. just in case you need to wash up.

The Friends of the Loren Andrus Octagon House say that in 1828, Loren traveled with his father to find a new home in the Territory of Michigan, settling in Washington Township in Macomb County. In 1858 with the help of prominent architect and brother-in-law David Stewart and using Orson Squire Fowler’s book about the wonders of 8-sided houses, A Home For All, Andrus built the Octagon House as his entry in a home-for-show contest between several families to see who could build the most unusual house. He won.

The Octagon House is Italianate in style, surrounded on six sides by a Corinthian-columned porch. A cedar shake shingled roof, with elegant scrolled brackets, supports the octagonal cupola. The house has eight sides with eight-foot windows letting daylight fill the interior. The interior is centered around a dramatic, 55-step cantilevered spiral staircase which winds from the first floor to the third story cupola.

The Friends of the Loren Andrus Octagon House was formed to preserve this structure (which is on the National Register and you can learn a lot more about it, see a slideshow and help them to save the old barns.

Here’s an entry for The Octagon House on the Absolute Michigan map of Michigan.

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