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UWS Residents Use 100-Year-Old Laundry Drying Closets

By Emily Frost | June 3, 2015 1:06pm
 This old drying rack system was spotted in the basement of a local building. 
Vintage Drying Rack
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While most of us are stooping over to haul a jumble of clothes out of the dryer, losing an untold number of socks along the way, some local residents are using vintage drying closets instead. 

The drying closets — floor-to-ceiling drawers that pull out from the wall like a filing cabinet — were spotted by blogger Nick Carr, who writes the Scouting New York blog. 

Each of the eight cabinets has a series of rungs where residents drape their clothes, then they shut them and leave the clothes to air dry out of sight, he explained. 

Some commenters noted that the closets would have originally been gas-powered to heat the clothes. 

Carr found them in the basement of a Riverside Drive apartment near Columbia University in a building constructed in the early 1900s, which is when he supposes the closets were first installed. 

"Perhaps this was once an area where servants did the laundry for their employers?" he mused.  

If you know more about these antique closets, let us know on Neighborhood Square. Does your building have any relics from the past that are still in use? We'd love to know.