One of the house’s most peculiar and dramatic features is the winding staircase to the attic. It is so steep that a previous occupant of the house in the 1950’s said she only climbed up it once. It made for some tricky storage situations as the wedge shaped treads are very small in places, it changes direction half way up, and the ceiling at the very top of it is low. Once you make the climb though, you are rewarded with natural light from five charming eye brow windows and a glimpse of how the house is framed.
The original attic flooring that remains has aged to a fine silvery gray. The rest was presumably taken up in the mid-20th century to make it easier to run electric and/or used as patches elsewhere in the house during radiator installation, or the rebuilding of the interior chimneys. It was replaced with large sheets of plywood.
I was fortunate to find a large quantity of Victorian flooring one day in a Manhattan dumpster. It was from the gutted attic floor of a row house. It was filthy being coated with years of black soot, but it was exactly the same thickness and width as what we were missing. We still needed a little bit more though which we discovered on craigslist from a fellow who was mercilessly ruining his 1880’s house in Somerville, New Jersey. He had piles of flooring and shattered woodwork tossed out in his driveway free for the taking. I installed the salvaged wood with antique nails I purchased at a Brimfield antiques show.