The Victorian period was marked by a great variety of styles for home plans. Victorian styles include Queen Anne, Italianate, Tudor, Romanesque and Gothic, among others. Frequently elements from a variety of styles were combined, resulting in home plans that can only be described as Eclectic. Victorian home plans often show great imagination in their internal layouts, going far beyond the 4-Square plans typical of the Colonial period. Bay and bow windows add variety to spaces. Towers and turrets become popular. Porches wrap around entire homes.
Historic Home Plans --- Italianate Style Home Plans --- The Octagon House, Watertown, WI

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The Octagon House near Watertown- 1853

A rare Octagon house plan in the Italianate Style with wrap-around porches
$47 - 6 Sheets measuring 18" x 24"
Ext. Dimensions apx. 60' x 60'
3 Stories, 8 Bedrooms, 2+ baths
Built 1853, Watertown, Wisconsin
Drawings prepared by HABS in 1935

tudor style home plan  tudor style home plan
tudor style home plan  tudor style home plan
tudor style home plan  tudor style home plan
tudor style home plan

The Octagon House near Watertown - 1853

In 1853, ambitious lawyer and mill owner, John Richards, set out to build the biggest house in Wisconsin. He may or may not have succeeded but the octagon house he erected in the outskirts of Watertown is truly imposing and memorable. He was no doubt inspired by Orson Squire Fowler and his book, "The Octagon House, a Home for All...", first published in 1848 and a major hit on the architectural book circuit all through the 1850s.

Richards' house took the concept to the next level by providing shelter not only for his family but also for many of the single young men who worked in his mill, with the third floor essentially functioned as a dormitory. All 3 floors have essentially the same plan, with 4 main rooms radiating out from the central staircase while service spaces fill hte left over corner spaces. The house is built over a full basement which contained the original kitchen. The house had no bathrooms, which were no doubt provided in outhouses. The potential variations of internal arrangements are too many to list here. Suffice it to say that this is a large house that could be outfitted with many bedrooms and bathrooms, and could even function as an excellent Bed & Breakfast establishment. This is a house definitely intended for a flat, wide open site, probably a country setting. With 5' deep porches wrapping all sides, the outside dimensions are approximately 60' x 60'.

  • Building name:      The Octagon House

  • Designer/Architect:      John Richards

  • Date of construction:      1853

  • Location:      Watertown, Wisconsin

  • Style:      Italianate Victorian Style Home

  • Number of sheets:      6 sheets measuring 18" x 24"
Sheet List
  • Cover Sheet

  • Basement & First Floor Plans, 1/8"=1'-0"

  • Second, Third and Lantern Plans, 1/8"=1'-0"

  • Elevation, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • 2 Sheets of Details, various scales

The prints you are purchasing are crisp, high resolution black line copies on white bond paper. The original drawings were beautifully delineated in 1935, with the fine draftsmanship of that time, by the Historic American Building Survey.

Please view my other plans for more Italianate and Victorian Style home plans and for a large variety of house plans in many other styles as well.

SHIPPING: Your drawings are shipped to you, by US Postal Service, rolled, not folded, in a Priority Mail tube.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO BUILD: These plans are NOT complete architectural drawings as might be required by your local permitting agency and do not contain all the structural, waterproofing and other details and information necessary for construction. But your local builder or architect should be able to adapt these drawings and add to them as necessary. What they do provide is accurate design information about a REAL Victorian Style home, not a pseudo-Victorian tract house as you will find in the house plan magazines on your supermarket shelf. (VI003)

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