Downtown Lansing’s Octagon House, 1854-1929
Remember the old Octagon House in downtown Lansing?
Probably not, since it was torn down in 1929.
This Grand Victorian octagon house was built in 1854 on the southeast corner of S. Washington Avenue and Kalamazoo Street by Colonel Whitney Jones.
Born in New York in 1812, Jones moved to Michigan in 1839. He was a merchant, Lansing postmaster from 1849-1853, Michigan's Auditor General 1855-1858, U.S. Assessor 1862-1866, Lansing postmaster (again) from 1868-1871, and Ingham County treasurer 1883-1887.
His octagon house was lavishly elaborate, with a Grand Victorian crested portico protecting the grand double door entrance. Embellished with curved projected cornices over windows, circular eave openings w/brackets, four octagonal chimneys...the whole structure was quite the spectacle.
Years went by, and Colonel Jones passed away on February 29, 1892. By 1910, a newspaper blurb showed the house being used as a hotel.
Before it was sadly torn down, other accounts say it was used as a warehouse. The building was demolished in 1929 to make room for more downtown parking. Currently, the location of the old octagon house is now home to Tetra Tech, 401 S. Washington Square, downtown Lansing.