The Octagon House is arguably the most interesting building in Columbus, if not the most photographed. It is the only known "double-octagonal" house in the country, which is the main reason it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973. As the description indicates, the house consists of two parts, the original dwelling built around 1830 and the octagonal addition constructed in 1863 by its new owner, Leander May, who was a cabinetmaker. When May built the addition he also converted the original dwelling into an octagonal shape. Given its unusual shape, the house was called "Mays Folly". The home is not open to the public as it is privately owned, but it is still possible to view it from the street.
Backstory and Context
In 1854 a book written by a man named Orson Squire Fowler promoted the idea that houses should be built in the shape of an octagon. He believed that it provided maximum space, good ventilation and health benefits. May agreed with this philosophy and this is what inspired him to convert the house and build the addition in octagon shapes.