The Cross House
It was thrill in late 2014 to discover the 1894 wallpaper in the two-story stair hall, and I did a post summing up what I had learned.
The paper was discovered in the upper stair-hall, or second floor. I assumed that the same paper had also been installed on the first floor of the stair-hall as both levels are visually connected. But I had no proof of this.
This weekend I was working in the back hall on the first floor. The hall was originally open from the stair-hall to the south entrance, but was divided at some point with a door and bit of wall, thus making the southern end private for an apartment created in the SE corner of the first floor. This bit of wall also covered whatever layers of papers were then present, and protected them.
The bit of wall was removed by the previous owner, Bob, thus revealing a thin full-height strip of ancient papers. I knew this strip was there but it never really registered as the hall has been a kinda storage area.
But this weekend I stood looking at this strip of multi-layered history and thought: What is under all the many layers?
The answer? Golly.
Scroll way down…
So, the same paper was on the first-floor of the stair-hall!
But…and this is SO cool…it had a green background not silver; the lower paper matches the sample Bo found.
Thus, GREEN down; SILVER up. In a million years I would never have guessed this.
This is yet another reason why gutting an old house to the studs is a bad bad bad idea. Ancient walls are encoded with information. Why toss this into a dumpster?
Imagine standing on the first floor of the stair-hall in 1894, surrounded by its rich and elegant green paper, and then looking up through the huge stairwell opening, and seeing a lighter, silvery version of the same paper shimmering from muted sunlight through the stained-glass windows.
At night, with the gas chandeliers lighted, and their carbon-filment bulbs also dimly glowing, the effect must have been wondrous.
Oh, how I yearn to recreate this.