The Cross House

A Small Clue To The Past

 

When the Cross House was built, there was an absurdly expansive staircase. To the north (top of image) were triple stained-glass windows.

 

In 1929, Scott Mouse converted the second floor into apartments. As part of this, the staircase was shrunk, and two kitchens were installed against the north stained-glass windows (amazingly, the stained-glass was not replaced with clear-glass). Of note in the drawing above is the wall between the kitchens. This wall is JUST to the right of the center window. Now…

 

The window to the far right, and the window to the far left, have a sill which projects beyond the the window trim. But the center window?

 

The sill edge is cut off. And this cut would correspond with the 1929 change.

 

I never noticed this tiny bit of history until today.

The 1929 kitchens were swept away in 1950 when they were replaced by a motel room and adjacent bathroom. Today, there is not a trace of the 1929 changes…

…save the cut sill.

 

 

22 Responses to A Small Clue To The Past

  1. You’re becoming ever more a real Holmes!

    The sill in our bathroom has some odd cuts in it that I’ve yet to decipher. I know the room once had tall tiled walls, but that still doesn’t correspond to the notches in the sills, unless someone later added masonite or some other paneling on top, or extra moulding, or something. Or maybe they just did it to confound me 😉

    • Could also be scrap. I had to rebuild a frame around a window in my home. It was overhanging, making the window look small, and the sill was non-extant. I built a sill from scratch, and used the remaining frame to build a larger one, making the window appear uniform and larger. Though the top and one of the sides has two pieces put together. I’m sure someone in the future will be confused as to what’s going on.

  2. I understand that the house was purchased as an investment, but I have to wonder if Mr Mouse had any hesitation before he started sawing up and ripping things out…

    • Mike, I suspect that the original architect was on hand for the 1929 conversations. He only lived a block away.

      The conversion was done pretty respectfully. I know of plenty of conversion horror stories. Indeed, these are much more common than respectful conversion stories.

      • Yes, I agree with you there. I have been inside big old homes converted to apartments that looked as though they had intentionally destroyed as much of the original “fabric” as possible. You are very fortunate, like I was; my house was operated as a “Rooms For The Elderly” in the 60s and 70s, and aside from a few odd holes drilled here and there, it is largly unmolested. I hadn’t thought of Mr Squires, but you’re right; even if he wasn’t on the payroll for the conversion, you can likely bet that he was at least on the scene watching over his masterpiece.

  3. Looking at the two floor plans for the staircase reminds me of something that’s always bothered me: It looks like the shrunken staircase has fewer steps than the original. Were the new steps steeper than the old ones? Or was the original staircase never quite built as drawn?

  4. I love this blog! This morning I stumbled down a YouTube rabbit hole after watching a young couple in their efforts to restore a hundred plus-year-old farm house. Somehow that led me to you, but boy, am I sure glad it did! I’ve read months worth of updates in the past few hours, and how exciting that I now get to follow your progress restoring The Cross House. I really love how much thought you put into every step. It seems like you and the house are really in tune. Gives me hope for my future when I become a home owner. I mean, if you can take on The Cross House, certainly I can find something within my means. Can’t wait to see more from you.

  5. Are you going to leave the window sill truncated (as a tribute to the Cross House’s past as an apartment building) or are you going to repair it to match the other windows?

  6. Ross, you are 100% correct! I love you! I love the work your doing, the way you do it, the way you think, that beautiful old house, you put a smile on my face and brightin up my days. Iv’e just started reading your blog and have spent the last couple of nights catching up on who you are and what your doing. I normally spend hours reading the news, everyone except Fox News! They make me want to toss my computer out the window with all their lies and twisted truths. I can’t stand what Trump and his side kicks are doing to our country. I could go on and on! Anyway, I really do enjoy your blog. I wish I could come help ya. I’m a sixty year old fart who don’t know how to leave well enough alone either even if no one else would know or see it I will! Thanks for the smiles!

    • Very nice to meet you, Dawn!

      Oh, and FOX is listed with the FCC as an entertainment network, not a news network. Which rather explains a lot…

  7. I posted the above last night under Feb 16th, my reference to your being 100% correct regards your opinion of Trump and mine as well. I see today the students of Stoneman Douglas High were told my Mr. Richard Corcoran that the AR-15 is used for hunting so he doubted if it could be banned! OMG my parents are rolling in their graves. I come from a family of hunters and they didn’t and don’t use AR-15’s. I long to bury myself in a project and take my mind off of the BS going on today. I’m jealous. Come on spring time!

  8. Yes I know, I try to tell my older brother and sisters that Fox is full of it but they seem to think it is gods honest truth. Drives me crazy!

  9. I worked for a company that renovated old homes for about two years. I loved it. It’s hard work but very rewarding. I painted my sons’ house last summer for him. Now when ever I pull in or out of the drive I look at it and can’t help but smile! So when your feeling beat up and wondering why in gods name you ever started the Cross house remember the love you feel as you complete each step. Your doing a wonderful job. Did you ever put up the peacock wall paper? Not a fan of wall paper.

  10. I worked for a company that renovated old homes for about two years. I loved it. It’s hard work but very rewarding. I painted my sons’ house last summer for him. Now when ever I pull in or out of the drive I look at it and can’t help but smile! So when your feeling beat up and wondering why in gods name you ever started the Cross house remember the love you feel as you complete each step. Your doing a wonderful job. Did you ever put up the peacock wall paper? Not a fan of wall paper.

  11. I stand corrected, my cousin just informed me semi-automatic rifles are used for hunting. Somehow this does not make me feel any better. No guns in my house ever!

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