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Cast iron doors

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On Friday, I inspected a building that started out as a modest 1870s home. Multiple additions now connect the house with the barn at the back of the property. It now contains 5 apartments and an indoor parking garage.

In one of the crawlspaces there was a large (approx 16'x18') internal brick foundation. I first thought it was a cistern, but found this in the kitchen of the apartment above.


Any guesses? I know what the right one is for, but not the two on the left.

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Let me correct my earlier post,

Early central "radiant" heating system. The fire Burns and hot gases pass into the brick foundation through a maze of galleries and rise up through the chimney and out the roof. The thing you thought of as a cistern radiates heat up through the house. The romans had 'em, the Koreans still do, my first hooch in Korea was heated that way. You definitely have to keep a window cracked or you're liable to croak from CO that seeps up through the bricks below.

OT - OF!!!


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"When you open those two doors, what do you see?"

Behind the top left one was a very shallow space. Only a few plastic shopping bags fit in there. I couldn't get the left lower door open.

The right door was actually only a hinged plate with a counter balance to keep it in the closed position.


Behind it was a clay tile lined space, only about 15" high, by at least 17' deep and probably 15' wide.


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