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e house is credited for hosting one time president, James Madison, and First Lady Dolley Madison following the burning of the White House in 1812 during the War. Today the building has found a completely new use. It is used as a museum and hosts several galleries and architectural and design exhibitions. This paper will analyze the Octagon House in light of its design and features and will compare it to architectural designs of the 1700s and early 1800s.
The Octagon House is has three stories, its plan featuring a triangle, two rectangles, and a circle. It was so designed such that its symmetrical wing meshes properly with its lot that is triangular in shape. The building has several rooms including the dining room, treaty room, kitchen, and parlor. The building which has six sides has chimneys and a furnace located on the basement as noted by Lonely Planet (2014). From these features, it is beyond doubt that the artwork was meant to be a residential house for a rich family. Its flat roof is made of cedar-shingle roof and balustrade is surmounted by a cupola as noted by Lonely Planet (2014).Furthermore, the building has its rooms so arranged that they seem to be symmetrical with a spiral staircase situated at the centre of the building. Figure one shows part of the Octagon House.
The Octagon House building is simply designed although it is a slight departure from the traditional Georgian design that was common in Washington DC it the late 1700s and early 1800s. According to AIA (2014), the building partly is inspired by the Greek style for its interior while its exterior is partly inspired by the federal style. In this respect, the building is a fine example of the kind of architecture that prominently featured in federal buildings at the time. The building is also partly inspired by English architecture of the time. During the 18th and 19th centuries, many buildings in England were circular or octagonal in shape (Brown 2009). Such houses were perceived to be
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