The Cross House
Yesterday, Tamara asked:
I’m dying to know exactly what does the inside of a telephone closet look like? Is the original telephone extant? Does it contain a simple bench to sit upon whilst making that all important call? That particular feature is one of the least mentioned in all of your posts and my curiosity is killing me. Please don’t let me die without knowing the answers to my questions. OK, perhaps I am being just a tad melodramatic, but seriously Ross, spill the beans and please tell us more about that darn closet. I really am fascinated by the thing.
When the Cross House was built in 1894 it was state-of-the-art. It featured wondrous new technologies and inventions:
- Gas/electric lighting!
- A dumb-waiter!
- Speaking tubes!
- A built-in ice chest!
- A laundry chute!
- And a telephone closet!
I am restoring all these features.
On the first-floor is a niche in the expansive entry/stairhall. To the left, is a door. The door opens to a small, oddly-shaped closet.
But this is no ordinary closet. One curious aspect is that it contains a round stained-glass window. There is also an operable transom window above the door, the only such feature in the whole huge house.
For, the closet was not intended for clothes, but for making telephone calls.
I greatly look forward to restoring the telephone closet.
I will also have restored the ancient ringer. Surely there exists somebody who restore such things?
I will install a landline wall-hung telephone in the closet. I will not install a phone from 1894 but rather a modern phone. A vintage phone would be cool, but not easy/comfortable to use, resulting in my not wanting to use the telephone closet much.
I will place a small, comfortable chair in the closet.
I will have installed a tiny shelf to hold a glass of wine.
And when all this is done, my first call will be to Tamara.