It was an era of elaborate eclectic architecture, characterized by gabled roofs, windowed turrets, and intricately carved balustrades. But innovator Gilbert Longfellow wasn't impressed with all the ornamentation. What he wanted in his home was more space and light.

In 1893, Longfellow built a two-story, eight-sided house on San Pasqual Avenue. It was revolutionary. The plan maximized usable floor space, and minimized wasted hall space, and flooded the middle of the house with light from a copula raised above the central staircase. It also included a convenience unheard of in the late 1800's: Indoor plumbing.

After sheltering three generations of the same family, weathering a 1917 move to Allen Street in Pasadena, and surviving a threatened demolition in the late 1960's, the Octagon House retired to Heritage Square, where is is currently undergoing renovation.

The octagon house was the 19th century equivalent to the geodesic dome. There was a feeling that if everyone lived in octagon house, the world would be a happier place. The design was spoken of in almost reverential terms.

The Octagon House at Heritage Square is one of the few remaining documented examples of the Octagon House Movement.


Take a virtual walking tour of Heritage Square
The Hale House || The Knudsen House || The Octagon House || Lincoln Avenue Church
This information is presented by Bob Taylor Properties, Inc. as a Community Service.
Please contact Heritage Square 626-449-0193 with inquiries.