A Home for All
The octagon house rose to popularity with the publication of Orson Squire Fowler's book "A Home For All" in 1849. Fowler hoped that the form would provide affordable and comfortable housing for the working classes. He advocated the use of concrete for the house's construction, citing its permanence and relative low cost. However, most of the surviving examples of the octagon house are either of wood or brick construction.
Octagon Craze The octagon craze lasted only a short time, with most examples predating the Civil War. Despite Fowler's assertion that the shape was more spacious and cost-effective, the awkwardness of the floor plan discouraged many builders. Today, fewer than 120 octagon houses survive nationwide.
David Garland Rose House There are fewer than ten known examples of the octagon house in Indiana. The David Garland Rose House, shown above, was constructed in around 1860 for a local Valparaiso businessman. The frame house exhibits Gothic Revival-style verge-board and decorative wood panels in each gable.