The Cross House
Why would anybody cut a large hole right at the foot of the stair????????
The hole was not original. And there is no trace of the hole today while standing on the first floor (the oak flooring on the first floor is circa-1950).
Justin and I stood in the basement staring at this extraordinary discovery.
WHAT had happened? WHY was the change reversed?
I could only think of one explanation. What follows is total conjecture:
I believe the boilers (and coal room) were originally in the carriage house, with underground pipes leading to the Cross House. This was not uncommon.
The carriage house was was sold off circa-1921. Thus, the Cross House suddenly had no heating source.
The least expensive solution would have been to install a furnace in the basement with a single large grate above. I have been in many houses with such a situation. Note how the floor opening is right in the center of the house; ideal for gravity heating.
This single large grate would have been the only heat source. No other grates or ducts were installed in the house.
Then, this furnace was removed, and a boiler was installed so that the radiator system could be reactivated. Was this done in 1929 when the house was converted into apartments? Or in 1950 when the house was converted into the Palace Motel? The former seems more likely. But…but…when Bob Rodak purchased the house in 1999, he removed an ancient boiler and installed four new pulse boilers. But the boiler he removed did not look like a 1929 boiler. It looked more 1950.
So, well, umm, I just don’t really know what happened.
But what else would explain a huge hole being cut into the floor of the stairhall?
It is also amazing that I never noticed this before.