Eight Square School House

Architectural History Minute

Eight Square School House

Built: 1827, Designed: Henry Balcom

The building is one of Tompkins County’s finest local landmarks. It is the earliest school still existing in Tompkins County, and the only brick octagonal schoolhouse left standing in New York State. Used as the Town of Dryden District Number 5 school until 1941, when pupils began attending other schools in Dryden…… The philosophy of octagonal-shaped school buildings can be traced to a Quaker tradition …..based on the idea that an octagon shape was conducive to a better learning environment because the instructor could be placed in a prominent position within the space and be the focus of the students…..

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.thehistorycenter.net/thc_8square/index.php

Also check out this school lesson from 1892; http://www.thehistorycenter.net/PDF/Rural_School_Lessons.pdf

Images courtesy Google image search, http://www.thehistorycenter.net/thc_8square/index.php

Andrew Petruzzelli

HOLT Architects, P.C.
217 N. Aurora St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
phone 607 273-7600 Ext. 151
fax 607 273-0475


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