Secret rooms

hidden kitchen

Walled off rooms, forgotten cellars. Not an intentionally hidden safe-room that’s opened by choosing the correct book on a bookcase (although that may be a topic for another post), I’m talking about spaces that were forgotten to time or walled-off for reasons known or unknown.

This long lost Victorian kitchen (photo above) surfaced recently. Check it out if you haven’t already read about it.

I’ve mentioned our mystery space before. After we moved in I had been wondering why the shower in the bathroom didn’t seem as deep as the same wall in the laundry room. One day I measured in both rooms and sure enough there was more than a foot of difference. So with the help of a friend who assured us we weren’t going to bring down a load-bearing wall, we tore in through the laundry room to see just what was there. I thought it might just be empty space with plumbing, but no. Here’s the BIG REVEAL!

Al Capone's Vault

It was an actual, formerly functioning closet. Drawers and hooks and everything. Painted pink. Much to my disappointment there wasn’t a scrap of anything else in there. No newspaper, no discarded packaging. Clean as can be aside from plaster and dust. Sealed since the great remodel of ’57(ish), nothing but a big waste of space (see diagram below).

There are many stories like this. A B&B in New York with a room reportedly having been hidden for the use of the Underground Railroad. Stories of secret cellars utilized during prohibition. The modern counterparts to that would be marijuana grow rooms (and there are many, just ask the Internet). That could be an amusing find in 50 years. This bungalow owner found a secret room under her utility porch. Or is it just a cistern?

There is a lengthy Reddit thread about hidden rooms (that veers into tales of hidden porn caches – you’ve been warned) with lots of good stories of similar discoveries. MetaFilter has one too.

I find the subject fascinating. Have you ever seen or found a hidden room?

Category(s): Uncategorized
  • Mora

    Love the idea of hidden rooms! I don’t have one, but I’m convinced that my 100 year old Japanese Tansu chest has a hidden drawer, many of them do. I just haven’t found it yet.
    What are lounging to do with your new (old) space?

    • Mora

      Going, not lounging.

      Or, a lounging closet? ;)

      • valerie pie

        I’m sure you have secret drawers! Look at all these secret drawers: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=antiques+roadshow+hidden+drawer
        If we could access the closet we’d probably use it for a while at least. Ultimately we’re going to tear out the whole bathroom and laundry room and remodel them into a combined space that will include the closet.

  • 1890Victorian

    I have seen Bookcases mounted on hinges/Doors, and you pull a pin out and there’s a closet behind them.
     

    • Anonymous

      A future modification of that kind is very tempting. Thanks for commenting! Are you 1890 Victorian …formerly Fixer-upper? I know I’ve seen that name before.