This stairway runs spiral from the basement all the way up into the attic. There are doors placed at each level hiding these stairs from the rest of the house as they were considered the "servant's stairs". I happened upon the name of the servant girl for 215 North Main in the 1920s whilst scouring archived editions of the St. Albans Messenger online. It seems that Corrine Bushey, servant girl to the Cushings, dropped her purse somewhere on the sidewalk and put an ad in the Classified section asking for its return if found. It is that reason that we call these stairs "Corrine's Stairs".

This stairway started off life like any other, hardwood treads, plaster walls, it was probably pretty nice. Then the 60s happened and it got the treatment; wood paneling and green, low-pile carpet. It was time to turn back the clock.

The carpet came up with a bit of work...

...however, whatever this stuff is? It took a LOT of elbow grease...
in fact I think that's what this was made out of.

Whatever substance the carpet padding started out as, it had completely morphed into something unrecognizable by the time we came along. It was like a soggy, sticky, yellow foam that adhered very strongly to the wood below while also softening the wood in places. It needed to be removed with a putty knife being very careful not to gouge the wood. I contemplated disposing of it at the hazardous waste depot.

At least three of the stairs were broken in half.
They were essentially being held together only by the carpeting.

The treads were removed and joined with biscuits.

After the carpet was off the stairs were loud and rickety. It appears that the carpet was as much structural as it was "decorative". I removed all offending treads and set about figuring out how to repair them. At first I started making my own biscuits and cutting slots dropping the edges of the tread onto my table saw. This proved cumbersome so I went out and borrowed a biscuit joiner. What a great tool! It really came in handy when I had to work on the Big Tread that rounds the corner. What a project.

The biscuited tread ready for install

Both these treads were repaired and now these stairs are silent

The carpeting was holding the stairs together and the wood paneling
was holding up the plaster on the walls.

I happened to have a piece of sheetrock that was perfect for this space.
It came from the wall I took down at the top of the grand staircase.

Bethany's directions are very clear...

You bet I'm gonna find a way to use this space...

Aria's been a big help and is unsurprising good at taping and mudding.

Mouseover to see the after photo.

Mouseover to see the after photo.