Friday, November 13, 2020
The home of Jacob Rupert is known as the Round House of Maple even thought it is an octagon with eight sides. Built in 1865, this home was truly made of local materials. The wood was cut on the property and the bricks were made from clay dug up on the site. It is believed that the Rupert daughters trimmed the wood for the interior. The front doors are quite grand with side lights and lots of little windows to let the sun in. The style was developed in the 1850’s by a man named Orson Squire Fowler whose book promoted this unique shape of home. It was popular for the next fifty years before more conservative architecture arrived with the Edwardian Period. This home stands on Major MacKenzie Drive just a little west of Keele Street.
Most of these homes were built with a flat roof with a small cupola on top. This one is adorned with patterned brick under the paired roof brackets.
At one time there were more examples of this style of house even though they were not overly popular. Today there are about 2000 remaining with only about 20 of them being in Canada.
The floor plans show how the space was used inside Jacob’s house. The house design was considered easier to heat and cooler in the summer because of the reduced outer walls. It also claimed to be filled with more natural light. The circle would have been the ideal shape but it was hard to build and difficult to furnish. Since architects were used to working with 135 degree angles they easily adapted the “bay window” into the shape of an eight sided house.
It’s nice to see that the house continues to be in use even though it seems out of context among the cookie cutter homes that surround it today.
Also see our feature on the historic town of Maple, to which this house belongs.
Google Maps Link: Jacob Rupert’s House
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