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slot in plaster - is it for hanging pictures?

I recently moved into an apartment built in the 1950s. The interior walls are stucco. About eighteen inches from the ceiling in the living room and bedroom, there is a deep groove in the plaster running all the way around. It looks fairly deep, an inch at least. I am wondering if this is a system for hanging pictures, and if so, how it works. Has anyone ever seen this?

Re: slot in plaster - is it for hanging pictures?

it's probably for a "french hook" or "rail hook" hanging system. alot of houses have a piece of picture molding installed high on the wall about 1/4" from the ceiling and those are for the french hook hangers. it's a 1' - 2' metal rod that hooks into your groove or over the top piece of molding near the ceiling with another hook that can be adjusted for height to hang the picture on. there are also short ones for grooves in the wall or lower mid wall moldings. they can be found in almost any art gallery. here's a link so you can see what they look like.


Re: slot in plaster - is it for hanging pictures?

Normally there would be a nailing strip where your recess is this was used for a plaster screed.When the plastering was finished they would have a wood profile nailed to the screed this would be about 14 to 16 inches down from the ceiling an was called a picture rail used to hang items from.Just finished a house dated 1841 period rail was 14 inches down.
The wood nailing screed most often used was 3/4 inch by 1 1/2 inch. Say some one removed the screed would it match your grove?

Re: slot in plaster - is it for hanging pictures?

I doubt it's for picture hanging. Also, are you sure it's stucco?
Why don't you ask the landlord or the manager? They may know the building the best.

Re: slot in plaster - is it for hanging pictures?

In your neighborhood will be an old tyme barber shop. The one with the striped pole, ESPN on the TV, and Sports Illustrated on the tables. Show up when all the old guys are there. Ask them.

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