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concrete ledge in basement

I live in a 1910 craftsman/bungalow style home. Its a rectangular red brick foundation with a poured concrete ledge (3 foot high by 2 foot deep) that runs from the middle of the north (front) wall down to the east wall and continuing on the east wall until about the middle of it. Does anyone know if what this was for? I'm having a substantial water leak(during heavy rain) where the ledge ends on the north wall. (which is odd to me because I have a large porch that runs the length of the house and large overhangs on the north (front) of the house and it is bone dry underneath the porch. There does seem to be a large hole in the foundation between the brick and the ledge.

Where these ledges built to provide support to the foundation? Does the brick foundation extend to the floor behind these ledges?

Has anyone ever encountered these ledges before? Any help would be appreciated!


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