I recently did a post about adding a structural beam to the foyer/stairhall of the Cross House.

This post will not make much sense without reading the previous post.

UPDATE: The installation of the new beam is moving along!



Where the new beam is. The beam should, should, SHOULD have been in place 122-years ago. West is to the left. The closet with the curved wall is the telephone closet, an original feature. An original WAY COOL feature, baby! (NOTE: The drawing is not labeled correctly. The PARLOR is the RECEIVING ROOM. The GREAT ROOM is the ENTRY/STAIRHALL.)



Looking west to the front entry. I love this image. For, when this area is done and gorgeous it will be fun to look at this image and go: EEK! I DID WHAT???????? The beam is at the top of the image, supported by several temporary columns. I also love this image because, no matter the damage & destruction, the space is SO friggin’ beautiful. Would you agree?


The Beam.

The Beam.



The Beam dies into the curved wall of the telephone closet.



And its end sits on a new steel column.



I give myself big pat on my back for assuring that the steel column, rather brilliantly, sits INSIDE the curved wall, and atop the foundation. The column was inserted without removing any of the curved trim (Amy will read this in deep appreciation), and I give Justin a huge pat on his back for successfully accomplishing this. Between the base molding and reeded trim board above, is Lincrustra, long missing in this area but — praise the Lord — found stored in the basement. To the right is a cast-iron waste line dating from 1929. I look forward, greatly, to its departure.


Just for fun I am adding this image.

Just for fun I am adding this image: the stained-glass window inside the curved telephone closet! I cannot express enough my yearning to, eventually, make a land-line call from the fully restored 1894 telephone closet of the Cross House! But the BIG question will be: who should I call first????????





  1. Bo on April 5, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    The Lincrusta was in the basement – another basement treasure??? Can’t wait to see it. How about a tour of that basement one day?

    • Barb Sanford on April 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Speaking as a person who was in the basement many years ago when the Cross House was apartments — and then again on a tour conducted by Ross himself — the basement is amazing. The boilers alone are a thing of beauty that should not be missed. Ross keeps them polished and dust-free.

  2. Connie in Hartwood on April 6, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Structural work isn’t sexy, but it makes all the glamorous stuff around it SO much better! Well done.

    BTW, you must have the most awesome basement stash in the world. We had lots of stuff stored (hoarded) in our basement, attic, and outbuildings, and only one useful original thing in the whole trashy lot … half a piece of the dearly-departed dormer fascia trim at the bottom of the heap in an outbuilding. Oh, and the frame of the dormer itself, piled in the attic. Too bad we realized what that pile of timbers was AFTER we paid $$$ for the new roof, otherwise we probably would have restored that feature. Oh, well. Maybe one day when everything else is finished. (insert maniacal laughter here.)

  3. Andrew on April 6, 2016 at 8:41 am

    At last – a sneak peek of your telephone room! I would have to install a land line in that room and for the first call would be made with a smart phone to the land line…sending a signal into space and back would seem fitting to welcome a 1894 home into the 21st century. Then, confetti bombs and trumpets would play, but, that’s just me.

    What has been holding up that part of the house all these years? Force of habit?

    You are a very brave man and would have to host a party when that ugly waste line is removed.

    • Bethany on April 6, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      You are hilarious and I totally agree with you on all points!

  4. Doug on April 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    You could call me, but I’d probably be busy and not answer.

  5. Marie on April 6, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I am beginning to think that “basement” is code for “Narnia” because you keep making magical discoveries down there!

  6. Melody on April 6, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    And what, if I may ask, type of telephone will you be installing in said telephone closet?

    Big, old wall mount? Two short and three long bells, on a party line?

    A candlestick?

    A fancy, ornate unit?

    A rotary?

    A modern unit?


  7. Sandra G. McNichol on April 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Awesome! Wonderful!
    Feel free to call me! 🙂

  8. Amy Heavilin on April 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Yes! You’re right – I am SOOOOOO excited that you didn’t have to remove any curved trim. Whew! And I love LOVE looking at all the infrastructure. I love that you have a phone nook. You have some many amazing features. I love it all so much.

  9. Cindi M on February 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Ross, I’m keeping myself occupied rereading (bronchitis) and thought about telephone rooms last night in my fevered attempt to sleep.

    Old phones had really weak microphones and ear pieces so any noise interfered with transmission and reception. With new phones, would you blast out your ears and your caller’s? Probably not since new fangled sets have computer chips to adjust to ambient sound. Just a thought.

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