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writersblock_gw

what is this called and why is it?

I've looked at dunaplenty old cottages in Northern Florida in the past couple of weeks and there's one architectural feature I keep seeing that puzzles me a lot: this strange heavy wooden header over double doors in parlors and other major rooms. In the first house I thought it was an old transom that had been filled in, but on the other side of the door opening there's no clue at all that anything like that exists (and the woodwork appears to be original). Then I began seeing it a lot in larger houses built in the 1870's, always that same heavy header.

Does anyone know what the correct term is for this and why they would be there? I tried looking up things like "false transom", but that just got me very educated about boats.

Sorry about the large image, but the software here upsizes images if they're too small, so I can't help it.

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