Tour: Octagon House

Join the Public Architects Committee for a tour of the historic Octagon House led by its managing curator, Margaret Phalen of the AIA Foundation. Designed by Dr. William Thornton for Virginia's Colonel John Tayloe, this historic national landmark has been carefully restored by the AIA.  This unique structure has long been associated with the AIA starting in 1898, when they selected the Octagon to be their new national headquarters. It was purchased outright by AIA in 1902. The Octagon served as AIA's headquarters until the construction of the current headquarters building in the 1960s.

The tour includes a viewing of the current exhibit showcasing the oeuvre of the 20th century Modernist icon Victor Lundy.

Presenter by: Magaret Phalen

Presenter Bio: Margaret Phalen began working at the Octagon Museum in October 2014. She is presently manager of the Octagon. Phalen previously held positions at Historic New England’s Otis House Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, working with the interpretation and management of historic collections.

Presented by: The Public Architects Committee

Co-Sponsored by: AIA Foundation

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the design contributions of mid-century Modernist Victor Lundy ;
  • Develop an understanding of the connected history of the AIA at the Octagon and the unique challenges associated with working in and preserving a historically significant landmark;
  • Explore the evolution of preservation practices from the early-1900s to today through the lens of the Octagon and the AIA; and
  • Explain the significance of the Octagon, specifically in the narrative of design and its role in early-American history