The Octagon House, built by Colonel John Tayloe for his family between 1801-1802, was given its distinctive name by the Tayloe children. It is within blocks of the White House. When the British burned the White House during the War of 1812, President James Madison and his wife Dolley temporarily lived at the Octagon. Six months later, President Madison signed the Treaty of Ghent in the upstairs parlor. This important treaty declared that England and the United States were at peace once again.