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PeggyBK
mystery space in kitchen wall
PeggyBK

Hi - Our architect produced measured drawings of our house in preparation of our kitchen and bath remodel. There is a space that is approximately 15 inches by 30 inches in an interior wall that has no obvious purpose. This same wall includes a built-in dining room cabinet that is also approx. 15 inches deep. The space is sandwiched between a coat closet and kitchen cabinets. We would like to know what is in this space and whether it is usable space for our remodel.

The house is a center-entrance colonial in Arlington, Massachusetts built in 1916. WE have hot water heat through radiators. None of the radiators are along this wall or in the area of this space on the 2nd floor or the basement. Also, the fireplace is not along this wall.

We removed the plaster and one lath along one side of this mystery space. After about 2 inches of empty space, there is a solid wall made of layers of wood and some kind of mortar. The pieces of wood are 1.5 inches wide by approx. 15 inches long.

Does anyone know what is behind this wall and what is the purpose of this space? More important, is this space usable for our kitchen remodel?

Our plan is to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room and replace with a peninsula for sitting and food preparation. We'd like to put the refrigerator where this mystery space is, but don't want to plan for that until we know the purpose for this space.

Thank you for your input.

Best, PeggyBK

A. Spruce
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
A. Spruce

If this is a preexisting space that you're just finding now, it could have been an old chimney passage, or just a weird extra space.

If this space was created by your architect, then you need to be asking your architect what the purpose is and whether or not it can be added to useable space.

dj1
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
dj1

Quote: "We would like to know what is in this space and whether it is usable space for our remodel. "

Opening the space in question is the only way to find out what's in it.

Quote: "We removed the plaster and one lath along one side of this mystery space. After about 2 inches of empty space, there is a solid wall made of layers of wood and some kind of mortar. The pieces of wood are 1.5 inches wide by approx. 15 inches long. "

Here you are saying that you saw a solid wall inside, leading me to believe, and I'm guessing here without seeing it, that it could be a beam column support of some sort.

Why don't you call some general contractors in your area, somebody could be familiar with that mystery space.

What did your architect say about it?

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
Sombreuil_mongrel

"1 1/2" strips of wood and some kind of mortar" -- sounds like lath and plaster?
Dead spaces exist where rooms come together imperfectly, sometimes left be filling in adjacent areas next to chimneys. A dead space can also be a chase for plumbing, ventilation, or a disused laundry chute. Sounds too small to be a dumbwaiter shaft.
Casey

ed21
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
ed21

Since you have an architect involved why not ask him. Sounds like leftover space that was easier to enclose. Happens all the time especially in older buildings.

Mastercarpentry
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
Mastercarpentry

Happens in newer houses too. We killed an odd space in the hall of a tiny new 'shotgun' house like that because it looked a lot better and the odd space was essentially useless. Hated to lose any of the limited floor footage but that was what worked best to maximize the rest!

Phil

Jack
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
Jack

That space may have been and abandoned dumb waiter or laundry chute.

Jack

Fencepost
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
Fencepost

There's probably a light in there served by that mystery switch that doesn't seem to do anything. :p

dj1
Re: mystery space in kitchen wall
dj1
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

That space may have been and abandoned dumb waiter or laundry chute.

Jack

Jack is most likely correct here.

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