A Mystery Revealed! Sorta.
Do you see what I see?
Why is all the trim in the room so dark (which happens when shellac ages) but not the door? The faux bois finish on the door appears near original, and was clearly not repeatedly re-coated with later layers of shellac like all the surrounding trim.
I thought I knew the answer.
In 1929, the house was converted into apartments on the second floor, and the two rooms became separate apartments. So, I assumed the door was simply shoved into the wall, and the opening infilled with a solid wall. And this how how things remained until Bob Rodak re-opened the portal.
However…a while ago I realize that there were no nail holes in any of the surrounding trim or floor. I mean, if a wall had been built in the opening, there would be nail holes, right?
Nope, nary a one.
Recently, I was giving a tour of the house to Phyllis and Louis and their family. The couple rented the Octagon apartment in the early 1970s, so I told them about the mystery as we stood in the room.
Louis quickly replied: “There wasn’t a wall there. There was a fitted armoire.”
In an instant, I knew what he meant.
During the 1929 apartment conversion, each room was fitted with a custom-built armoire, containing a Murphy bed. During the motel conversion in 1950, the armories were made into closets.
All the armories are now dismantled and stored on the third floor.
Today, I measured the door opening: 54-inches wide. There were two narrow unidentified armories on the third floor. One of these, surely, was 54-inches wide.
Nope. The two unidentified armories are 48-inches wide.
So…the WHY of the un-darkenend door has been revealed. But the WHERE of the 1970s armoire is still…a mystery!
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