The Cross House

A Continuing Niche PLAN

I have been writing abut the niche in the stairhall.

As previously noted, the niche is small but, per square inch, packs more architectural wallop than any other space in the house.

In but an area about 3-feet deep by 6-feet wide, there are two columns, an arch, two doors, and three arched stained-glass windows. Golly.

And all the oak trim is rich with detail.

However, this architectural treasure trove has gone unrecognized for many many decades. The niche does not appear to ever have had any lighting. The daylight from the north-facing windows means that during the daytime one sees the stained-glass but everything else is in shadow. And at night the whole niche just vanishes. Add to this the shellac on all the oak. Over time shellac darkens and so all the oak has been, for much of its existence, a very dark brown. And this SO does not refract light.

I owned the house for some time before I dragged a work light over to the niche and, to my amazement, realized what a knock-out it was. I had no idea.


The first floor of the Cross House. The arrow points to the niche, showing just how small a space it is. 


To the left is the curved original telephone closet. This will be restored to use as a telephone closet. The three arched windows are in the middle. The north entrance is to the right. The north porch is at top.


When the niche is fully restored and Bo’s wonder light is hanging, it will be as if a brand new space was added to the house. Of course, the space was always there…just never noticed.

It is exciting to think that this hidden jewel will soon be the recipient of…much praise.


16 Responses to A Continuing Niche PLAN

  1. I’m so glad that you’re taking the time to restore the house to its (nearly) original glory rather than slather it with wallboard and off-white paint. I’m getting a tremendous amount of satisfaction watching you proceed with your meticulous work (and my back is grateful that I’m not trying to do it in your place!). Keep it up, please.

  2. Is there a window in the telephone closet? I don’t read blue prints but it kind of looks like it. That would be amazing. I can’t wait to see the niche complete, it’s such a lovely space. Nice work! Not to change the topic but are you getting ready to march?

  3. Is there a way to light the niche and telephone closet windows from the North porch outside? It would be great to be able to show the windows off with light streaming in at night.

    • Hi, Stewart!

      Something which I have already started is making sure that, at night, the public gets to see the glory of the stained-glass. This is made possible by lighting rooms up.

      As things progress, more and more rooms are lighted at night making the house utterly magical to anybody driving or walking by.

      In time, all the stained-glass windows will be lighted from inside at night, making the exterior a huge Fabergé egg.

      So, at night, the niche stained-glass will go “underground” from inside the house, but all that glorious oak trim will dazzle!

  4. Thanks for showing the floor plan again, it reminds me of the layout relative to where you are working. What are your thoughts on how they would of used that north entry?

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