The Cross House

Discovery #7!!!!!!!!


Let the games begin!

This is the seventh in a series of Discovery posts!


A great mystery of the original Cross House kitchen is: WHERE was the sink?

The room is large but has almost no wall space for a sink. There is one large window, one massive double window, six doors/openings, and a brick recess for a cast-iron range.

So, where was the sink?

This baffled me for years until I came across this image:


A late 19th-centry kitchen. With the sink…


…right in front of the window. There is a drainboard to the right, and a table to the left.


The massive double window in the Cross House kitchen faces south, and after finding the above image I then assumed that is where the sink was.

But I had no evidence to support this.



Right after buying the house three years ago one of the first projects was rebuilding the entire south exterior kitchen wall, which was impressively/scarily rotted from water/termite damage. The wall was rebuilt from top to bottom. In the process the massive double window was removed.

Tragically, this work was done pre-blog, and not documented.

The project was finished in the spring of 2014 but the window, after its frame was stripped of ancient paint, was stored. The huge sashes needed to be restored, and all the exterior trim for the frame was rotted and needed replacing. Dozens of other projects took precedence, and huge sheets of Plexiglass covered over the massive opening in the rebuilt wall.

And so the frame sat. Months passed into years when I recently thought: HOW long has the window been in storage?

The answer motivated me to finish the damn work!

As such, I am very pleased to announce that the 1894 frame is now back in place.

But what, you may be asking, does this have to do with the hypothetical location of the 1894 sink?

Maybe nothing.

But maybe everything.


The south-facing massive double kitchen window. In this image it is impossible to appreciate the scale on the window. HUGE! Everything covered in Tyvek was replaced in 2014. All the damage resulted from failed built-in gutters. Since repaired!


The 1894 window sill, stripped of paint, back in place!!!!!!!! You will observe something odd. Two holes, long ago filled.



The holes, I surmise, can only be the result of one thing: a hot and cold water pipe. Jutting up above the window sill.


But, look again at this…




An 1890s kitchen sink. Note how the faucets were in the backsplash.


If the Cross House sink was against the window as shown above, it seems probable that the hot/cold water lines would have been drilled through the sill, so as to reach up to the high backsplash.

Or were the holes drilled decades later for another sink?

I have no answer.

But these two infilled holes are rather tantalizing, right?




8 Responses to Discovery #7!!!!!!!!

  1. Yes!! Yes they are!

    And anyone who has ever been stuck hand washing endless piles of dishes knows that it is essential to place the sink in front of a window!

    • I have only once lived in a house where the sink was in front of a window. I do not find it essential at all. I don’t spend that much time hand-washing dishes.

  2. What a tantalizing discovery! Admittedly, I’ve been going through withdrawals these last several days – in the absence of our little updates; now I have my fix.

  3. I lived in a house where even though the kitchen was about 20 x 10, the sink was on the enclosed back porch, not visible at all from the kitchen. Reason being – so you wouldn’t have to see the dirty dishes in the sink.

    I’ve also seen recent houses with two kitchens – one for show, the sink especially never to be used and water spotted – oh the horrors – and the real working sink and dishwasher(s) in a closet like room where a pantry would be. It’s all about appearances rather than practicality.

    So – I say, put the sink where you want it, as there likely is no “right” answer unless you have the photo of the original kitchen for your house. Those two holes though do give hope don’t they!

    I can’t wait to see what is next!!!! This is better than a soap opera. I wait in anticipation of the next episode!!

  4. I knew that at some point you would find a significant clue as to the mystery of the kitchen sink. I have to admit that I am a bit ‘miffed’ at Architect Sqiures for not coming up with a more elegant solution that would have not obstructed this lovely window and hidden the back of the sink and pipes from from the view outside the window. To soothe my delicate sensibilities, I’d have Mrs. Cross suggest to ‘Cook’ that the windowsill would be a lovely place for several pots of fresh herbs to grow! And I’m terribly happy that you’ve come up with a better solution and plan to put the sink in your large modern island!

  5. As I recall from my grandparents’ Victorian house, sinks were often placed by the window so that one could see. The kitchen sink in my 1894 house is between the two windows, despite the fact that that means running the water pipes in an exterior wall, which is not ideal in a climate with cold winters.

Leave a Response

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.