The Cross House

Making the Butler Happy

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The south wall of the butler’s pantry in the Cross House is really odd. I mean, WHAT are those 1950s cabinet doors doing on top?

 

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I previously did a post about this oddity. It turns out that the tall doors were once WAY higher, and had glass inserts. A counter was below. And there were SIX drawers rather than four. Well, yesterday I found myself staring, yet again, at the remuddled version and knew I could not take it anymore. I have my limits!

 

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Offending crappy 1950s doors be gone! Wow! MUCH better already! Now, to raise the tall doors…

 

…back to their original location! OMG! Sooooooo much better! The room looks MUCH taller, too! It was all rather effortless as the hinges all fitted perfectly into their original locations. I now need to recreate the lost two drawers and missing counter. When I eventually actually own good china I will take out the plywood infill panels and replace them with glass.
…back to their original location! OMG! Sooooooo much better! The room looks MUCH taller, too! It was all rather effortless as the hinges all fitted perfectly into their original locations. I now need to recreate the lost two drawers and missing counter. When I eventually actually own good china I will take out the plywood infill panels and replace them with glass. And the BEFORE…

 

...again.
…again.

 

The WHY of the remuddling makes no sense.

WHY remove a counter?

WHY remove two drawers?

WHY lower the tall doors?

If somebody wanted more closed storage, why didn’t they just put doors over the counter area?

A mystery!

 

15 Responses to Making the Butler Happy

  1. There is no understanding the “why” of the re-muddling, it is just very fortunate for you that no one ever did a complete gut job on your spaces the way our kitchen was gutted in the 80s.

  2. The remuddling makes perfect sense if you are vertically challenged like my elderly mother. She says she would want the tall glass doors as low as possible so her pretty china would be at eye level and within easy reach. With the doors in their original location, all the pretty stuff would be too high to reach easily. She wants the solid doors at the top, because that’s where you hide the seldom used or ugly stuff. So maybe the person who ordered the remuddle was just extremely short.

  3. Hello Ross,

    Long time reader of your blog and first time posting. My family moved to Kansas 2 years ago from Virginia. I enjoy reading your incredible work on your beautiful old lady. Your passion and excitement is delightful. After I read a new post I always want to ask a million questions. One question I have is have you found any treasures from the previous owners? Toys? Gold doubloons? Pictures?

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog it is my favorite! Maybe sometime next year I could come see your lovely home.

    Cheers!!

    • Hi, Candy!

      So very nice to meet you! You have to come by for a visit!

      The previous owner found a lot of stuff from previous owners, and put everything in a box which he graciously left with the house. Nothing incredible though and, sadly, no gold doubloons!

  4. I know you love your telephone booth/room, but I am simply thrilled that the Cross House has a tiny room devoted just for the storage of dishes, silver, glassware and linen for the table. I love pretty dishes and silver and all that goes into setting a proper table. Thank you for beginning to set this cabinet right. I am so very anxious to see those doors set with gleaming glass and pretty dishes on display. And won’t that shelf above the drawers look perfect with a tray set and ready to be carried to the dinning room?

    Oh Ross! You must be exhausted with the seemingly never ending list of work to do, but know we readers anxiously await every installment of the continuing restoration of your beautiful home.

    • What lovely imagery! Thank you.

      There is ALSO a china cabinet in the dining room!

      And, no, I am never exhausted by the house. Quite the opposite. It gives me life.

  5. This looks great. What a difference such a simple fix makes to this space. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out with the glass, drawers and shelf.

  6. A small, but significant improvement! I truly enjoy your indulgence in getting sidetracked with random different projects. It makes me much less guilty about my own ADHD project tendencies!

    I think a big part of the motovations behind remuddling is American culture as a young country. The rate of technological progress through our entire history as a nation has been fast and steady, and defined how we look at the built world, with far more focus on what lies ahead than the heritage left to us from the past. One of my regular podcasts (a great way to pass the time sanding or painting, btw) touched on this recently: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/in-praise-of-maintenance/

  7. Hey Ross, Hope your Thanksgiving was a nice one. So impressed by your ability to envision. Inspired by what you can see, and everything you have brought to light. I think it is great that you study the bones and let the house speak volumes. It is awesome that you have artifacts in the “cave” and a set of prints too.

    Keep Fighting the Good Fight !!

  8. Just curious, inside the pantry, were there any shelves? whenever the house was being used as multiple apartments, could if have been possible that someone converted the pantry into a wardrobe?

  9. Ross, the cabinet door has a lock, but it doesn’t appear that any of the drawers in the butler or main pantry have locks. I find this odd, as most of my butler drawers also have the same type of lock as your cabinet (presumably to lock up the silver place settings or whatever else was laid inside). Is there any evidence on the frames of previous drawer locks?

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