The servant’s entrance is alongside the driveway, complete with mail slot, separate door bell and radiators. Nearly 1/4 of the house is segmented for use by the servants, unseen by the family or the guests. The stairwell leads to the hall outside of the master bedroom where laundry and linens were done.
When Red and I visited Mom and Dad is St. Louis, I made sure to snap LOTS of pictures of the furnishings and original everything in the home. Outside of the appliances (kitchen) and some toilets and light switches, EVERYTHING is original. SWOON! Here’s a picture of the butler’s pantry, with the light fixture that originally hung in the kitchen:
The small switch and connector on the baseboard in the servant’s hall is actually a central vacuum that no longer works, but was kept intact. “Gert”, Mom’s make believe maid, “lives” in the servant’s room with her original sink and bathtub. (above) Half of the original kitchen cabinets still stand, and the rest of them are reproductions with original style hardware. What is pictured below is 100% original, down to the black and white marble flooring. The tile does, in fact, extend throughout the kitchen and butler’s pantry.
This smattering of rooms feature some more original features. The top photo depicts the lady’s dressing room, with original whitewashed cabinets all around the room with cubbied drawers for linens and clothing. Since most garments were folded in the teens and 20s (heavy silks) there is little hanging space in this specific room. The center island was set on top of the floor by Mom and Dad for more storage, but fashioned in the style of the room, with marble top. Other rooms featured: marble kitchen floor, original photo of the master bathroom suite, dining room with original detail and tile floor, the smoking lounge that was originally used as a second floor study for the family.
The original bathroom has to be one of my favorite features in the whole house, especially since EVERYTHING is original. I took a different view of this same bathroom in Part One.
Lastly, I collected some of the finishing touches in the house – the toilet is from the master bathroom above, just behind where I was standing to that the photo. Even the toilet seat is from “St. Louis Co.”. The radiators are the way the home is heated, with one under nearly every window and sometimes 2-3 in the room. Most of the taller radiators are capped with a marble slab, allowing them to serve as tallboy tables around the house.
Galley switches are on every wall, lighting up the room. The strange “porthole” you see in the photo above is actually a form of communication from the butler’s pantry to the lady of the house’s dressing room. (Up there , two holes are present, the other goes to the servant’s sewing room). This way, the masters of the house didn’t have to shout to reach for assistance.
My parents have lived in this early concrete construction home for about a year, and estimate that they have 5-6 more years there before they retire. I have inserted myself as the original fixture expert, making sure that the integrity of the home is preserved as things break, need to be replaced or updated. Don’t you think the historical quality of the home is important?! Dad was about to blow out the Butler’s pantry before I stopped his plans!