James Hennig Interview Clip 03


James Hennig Interview Clip 03


Changing uses over time of the basement of the former Music Center.




James Hennig


Alyse Hennig


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Spatial Coverage

Rockville Centre, NY




A: Also you mentioned a dumbwaiter. Now, it’s not used in my lifetime. Did you ever actually use it as a dumbwaiter when you moved into the house with the family?

J: Yes, we used it a bit, but mostly for laundry and unimportant stuff. But when it was built of course there was a kitchen in the basement, which was their catering kitchen. So when they had events, they would be preparing everything in the kitchen, since there was nothing of the first floor. Just the auditorium, the stage, the office, and a classroom. They would bring all the refreshments up on the dumbwaiter.

A: And the basement kitchen, is that where it was built [located] when I was growing up, the same space in the front of the house?

J: The same place, same location, same everything, just slightly updated, but not by much.

A: And what about the basement level, when the family first moved in?

J: That was one large open space with ballerina rails on two long walls, and large mirrors on the walls where they did dance class.

A: And were all of the small rooms around the main room in existence or were those built later?

J: The larger bathroom on the lower level used to be a separate designated men’s room and ladies room.

A: In that one space?

J: In that one space. There was a wall down the middle of the bathroom. There was a separate door that said “Men’s” and “Ladies” on it, and we changed that into one bathroom.

A: And what about the half bath?

J: The half bath was always there, same location.

A: And the two small rooms off of the main room?

J: Well you have the main hallway down there. That leads obviously to the bathroom on one side, the kitchen that’s existing, the utility room. Then the room next to the kitchen used to be another utility room where that state-of-the-art air conditioning unit was housed.

A: Ok, and that was turned into a laundry room.

J: That we removed and turned it into a laundry room. And on the opposite side of the powder room was a room that I really don’t remember what they used for.

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James Hennig, “James Hennig Interview Clip 03,” Edith McIntosh School of Music Digital Scrapbook: A Community History Project, accessed April 22, 2024, https://edithsmusicrvc.com/items/show/293.