Hidden Cabinet: Historic Finds in Old Town Alexandria
Can you imagine finding a hidden cabinet behind the walls of your living room?
We uncovered these shelves behind a wall during renovation of an Old Town Alexandria home. This home, built more than two centuries ago, also had a cistern (see previous post) buried under the basement floor. The shelves were likely part of a cabinet with doors: one shelf has a small hook that could have been used as a door latch.The rear and side walls of the cabinet were made of original horse hair plaster which was applied after the shelves were put in place. Signs of the original casing are apparent at either end of the shelves, a flat area with nails still in place.
When the house was renovated into apartments around 1919, a doorbell system was cut into the rear of the shelf (apparent in center rear). The bottom photo shows parts of the nearly century-old doorbell electronics just as they were found when the wall was opened up.
The new owner has decided to restore this cabinet using the same method of plaster as the rear and sides.