Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

Bull's eye / Oculus / Oeil-de-boeuf


1. A figure or ornament of concentric bands (Concentric: Of or denoting circles, arcs, or other shapes that share the same center, the larger often completely surrounding the smaller.)

2. A small circular opening or window

3. A thick knob or boss of glass at the center of a blown glass sheet

4. A thick, circular piece of glass set, as in a roof or ship's deck, to admit light.

5. Oculus or oeil-de-boeuf

Bull's eye corner blocks are found in Federal and Greek Revival styles

Until modern techniques were developed, one way of making window glass was to spin a blob of molten glass at the end of a tool called a pontil. Centrifugal force flattened the glass into a sheet, and when the tool was pulled away it left a characteristic bull's eye mark.

The relatively flat glass on the perimeter of this glass pancake was carefully cut into pieces and sold to the high-brows who could actually afford windows.

What was left, the stuff with the bull's eyes, went into lesser locations, like barns and sheds.
- Old House Web: Bulls Eye Glass (online May 2017)


Examples from Buffalo:


Photos and their arrangement 2003 Chuck LaChiusa
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