Mini-Trad Mysteries – Pantry, Service Porch; Can YOU help?

This is the first in a series of posts about some of the odd and unusual mysteries that my husband and I are discovering as we attempt to bring our 1948 home back to some of its former retro glory! It’s adapted from a post on my blog, The Moderne Hausfrau.

When it came time to buy our house, I had—like most shoppers—a very keen idea of exactly what I wanted.

We found that house, too.  But it wasn’t meant to be.

Instead of my dream house, we found a Minimal-Traditional home in the Wrigley that I’ve fallen in love with despite its faults. It has the curb appeal of a shipping container, but has some really cute little details throughout. (Including original tile in the kitchen and the bath!)

We mopped AFTERWARDS, oops

But our strange little mini-trad also has some odd mysteries about it.

In our kitchen is a pink and beige/off-white linoleum flooring that is not original to the house. The house was built in 1948 and based on some snooping I did, I found evidence that the original flooring is still there under the new-ish linoleum.

In our service porch is a recessed space that we use (and the previous owners used) as a pantry. In the floor of this pantry are two small holes up against the east wall. Gutting from the north wall is a strip where there is no linoleum and no original flooring, but it doesn’t open up to the crawl space. Obviously, something was there when both the original flooring and the “updated” linoleum was installed. But what? A washer? A sink?

Note the shelf supports

When looking into this recessed space, it quickly becomes clear that it was updated to be a pantry.  The shelving is unsophisticated. Wooden boards supported by slats of wood nailed to the west and east walls. I suspect that the “pantry” shelving was installed before the linoleum was installed, but I cannot be clear. If it was, then whatever left its “footprint” in the floor would have likely co-existed with the shelves. Therefore, said appliance would have to have been on the short side as the lowest shelf is only about a foot and half off the floor. And that doesn’t make sense.

I have no clear indication when the linoleum was installed, and no clear idea when the “pantry” was converted. But it all does leave me scratching my head, that’s for sure!

For a bit of extra mystery… Notice how in this last photo the linoleum was installed either after the water heater was replaced/added, or that the heater was lifted to install the flooring. Weird.

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