Only the Initiated Know
What Lies on the Other Side
of this Sealed-Off Doorway
of the House's Main Hallway
At the northernmost end of the House's main Hallway,
directly under the grand staircase,
and close by the door to the Library,
there is a sealed-off doorway (shown above)
in what was once the west wall of the building.
The House's pay telephone is now attached to a plaster wall
that closes up this doorway.
There's even remains a doorbell on the door frame
(but why a doorbell on the inside of the House??) .
What is this doorway?
Where did / does it lead?
At one time it lead out to a porch / yard to west of the House.
In 1924-5, though, the open lot lying west of the House
was sold off for construction of the apartment building
that now is Delta Phi Epsilon's nextdoor neighbor
at 3405 Prospect Street.
This apartment building, however,
does not occupy all the open land that once was our House's west yard.
Still remaining is small 8' x 8' open-air court,
that is enclosed on three sides by the neighboring building.
Looking down from the west window of DPE House's attic
onto the roof of the neighboring apartment building
and the 8' by 8' vestigal open courtyard
that lies is just outside the mystery doorway
But what lies on the floor of that small courtyard
to the west of DPE House ?
And what happens in that courtyard
beyond thne now sealed-off "mystery doorway"?
The "Mystery Stairwell"
There is a doorway in The Harry Spraker Library
that leads to a spiral stairwell
going down to the Basement Party Room.
Originally this stairwell was a Servants' Staircase,
running from the basement all the way up to the 3rd floor
Just inside the Library's entrance to the stairwell
is a 3' x 3'
and on the left of that landing is a door (in the picture below shown open),
behind which one can see the stairwell's steps going up to the second floor
(they are now stopped at the joists holding up the 2nd floor bathroom's floor)
The Mystery Staircase
Shown here is the continuation of the circular stairwell that come up from the Basement Part Room
These stairs are just behind the black door
on the east side of the
landing off from The Harry Spraker Library
(Notice the old lathes that had once supported plaster walls;
the lighter colored vertical studs are recent additions,
meant to support the heavy concrete bathroom floor now above)
Immediately above the Mystery Staircase
is now the Second Floor Bathroom,
which was installed when the House acquired indoor plumbing.
At present the bathroom's walls are tile;
but behind the tiles in bathroom's north wall
is what once was an old doorway permitting egress
from the circular staircase's second floor landing
into what is now the Terrace Room.
When the second floor bathroom was re-built in 2001,
I took the opportunity to photograph what remains of that doorway
(which is now blocked by a shower stall).
For a possible reason why there had been this
between the staircase and the former Sitting Room
(after all, why this doorway, when anyone could have gone
between the staircase/bathroom
and the sitting room/Terrace Room
simply by stepping out onto the House's Main Staircase)