Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Victorian Architecture--Coffin Corner

I have made many trips inside older homes....even lived in one for about a decade; however, an architectural feature called the "coffin corner" was new to me.

Today we had the pleasure of touring the Jane Addams Hull-House now sandwiched by the campus of University of Illinois Chicago. Having been a sociology major back in the day, this was an exciting feature to my last day here this week.

As the placard states, the coffin corner is a niche added to the top of the stairs in Victorian homes to aid in the removal of the coffin. Back in those days, folks usually died at home and the body was laid out in the parlor on the first floor. The niche gave a little "wiggle room" in maneuvering the coffin around the bend in the upstairs hallway and down the stairs.

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  1. Learned something, did not know that! Thanks for this post!

  2. I never heard of this. I would never have guessed that's what it was for. I would have thought for a statue. When I read the title I thought at first they would prop the casket in the opening.

  3. Linda:

    I had no idea what those were for! How interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Interesting info about the "coffin corner" - you wouldn't want any mishaps at a time like that! Jo

  5. That is very interesting. Thanks for the lesson. It beats going out the window.

  6. I nominated you for the Ancestor Approved Award - please take a look at my post (sorry I am late but forgot to "pass it on via email or comment." As the post mentions if you have already received this award just note it on your blog! I am not sure if nominated is the right word (everyone else uses it) but I am actually passing the award on - "you have already won!"

    You have an excellent blog and interesting topics. Thanks for sharing (especially the pictures).

  7. i'm still skeptical but imagine that would be a real reason for making the coffin certainly is shaped like one'...however i was thinkn more along the lines of...landing' for delivery of a tray for tea and

  8. Very late to this discussion, but found it online. Today I was on a tour of Lincoln's home and a guest mentioned this. However my husband says it's not true so I looked it up and found this: When looking up coffin corner in Wikipedia and, they refer to football and aerodynamics.