William Brown House - Pass-through Revealed


For the first time in at least a century (if not 200 years), this arched architectural feature is revealed! We believe that this feature was associated with the bar and tavern during William Brown's tenure (c1760-1790). Our best guess as to when the feature was bricked up is sometime during the late 1700s or early 1800s.

If you look closely at the above image, you will see an archway made out of bricks. Though this image doesn't show it too well (it is best seen in person), the original archway opening ended at the course of bricks immediately above the blue wooden chair rail.

Integrated into the brickwork are a few pieces of wood. You can see them at the bottom of where the arching starts on both sides as well as near the bottom of the archway itself. The image to the left is a close-up look of the upper right side of the arch with the boards circled.

These pieces of wood, called nailers or nailer boards, are necessary in colonial masonry if you plan to have wooden trim on your wall. These nailers are how you would attached trim to the wall.

Imagine then that if the archway was open, then you'd be able to see through the opening into the other side of the wall. If you were standing in the tavern room (as in the image below), then you would probably see into the bar area on the other side of the wall.

The image below shows the other side of the wall (looking towards the tavern room).

This side is much rougher than the tavern room side. There are wires and poorly patched brick visible. We know that during the Almshouse period (c1823-1965), that this space was a small closet or pantry. That may be why this side of the wall is in worse condition than the tavern room side. The image below shows some of the other wires and cables running through the wall at the top of the wall.

We are still internally discussing what the revealed archway and brickwork tells us about the building. Our current plan is to start designing and constructing a wooden bar for that space (where the closet used to be). We may be able to have a portion of the bar installed later this year. If so, we'll keep you updated.

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