This three-story brick house, adapted to an irregular-shaped lot, displays a dramatic break with the traditional, late Georgian and early Federal house planning that preceded it. The Octagon achieves a zenith in Federal architecture in the United States, through its brilliant plan which combines a circle, two rectangles, and a triangle, and through the elegance and restraint of the interior and exterior decoration. The Coade stone, stoves, other decorative elements, and furniture were imported from England. The construction materials, such as bricks, timber, iron, and Acquia creek sandstone were all manufactured locally.
The Octagon House became the home of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on January 1, 1899, and complete ownership of the property was acquired in the year 1902. The AIA still owns the building, but the institute is headquartered in a larger building located directly behind it. The house has undergone extensive renovation since 1996, culminating in efforts to restore it to its original period appearance.
The Octagon House is located at 18th St. and New York Ave. NW.
tours are available by appointment. The museum is open 1-4pm Thursday through Saturday for free, self-guided visits. Contact the museum at 202-626-7439 or visit the Octagon House website
for further information. Metro stop: Farragut West