Monday, December 27, 2010

Detective Work

If you live in an old house, then being a detective should come as second nature. Case in point, my kitchen:

Obviously, the florescent light fixtures are not original, but I didn't get a chance to really investigate until I had to change some bulbs. I thought I might find the original light fixture location underneath all, and I did:

After some scraping with a screwdriver (and making a huge mess in the process), I found that the original wiring is still there. I had assumed that the kitchen (which was altered heavily in the 1970s) originally had a single fixture, and now I know I was right.

Also, this got me thinking that the butler's pantry, which is now open to the kitchen, was probably at one time its own separate room, as most usually are. Also of interest here is the original ceiling finish, which is much rougher than what is there now (outside of the fixture.) There's also a strange bread cabinet built into the wall (which everyone kept calling a dumbwaiter, which it never was). I found out from an old photo from the previous owner there was once a window where the cabinet is now, so it would be nice to put the window back later.

Last but not least is this strange medallion in the very center of the floor of my dining room, which I found after I pulled up the carpet. Anyone know what it is? My guess is a wire ran through the holes in the center for a servant call button, which I have seen in other older homes. Any other guesses?

The dining room has been rife with discoveries - ghost marks from old sconces on either side of the built in sideboard, hinge marks on the door frame leading into the conservatory, and also on the large doorway that leads into the dining room from the entrance hall:

Very interesting, indeed. I have a feeling the detective work will never be done, but that is part of the fun of owning an old home.

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