During Prohibition, many New Yorkers considered the 18th Amendment to the Constitution more a suggestion than the law of the land. City residents created ingenious places to conceal their liquor, and Eric Schiller was thrilled to discover such a place in the Victorian house he bought last year on Westminster Road in Prospect Park South.
Mr. Schiller, an architect, was inspecting the original oak staircase when he noticed a rectangle outlined on the first-floor landing. The rectangle turned out to be a slab of wood that could be lifted by using a discreetly incised thumbhole. Underneath lay a four-foot-deep space lined with shelves and containing a ladder down which a relatively nimble individual could have made his way to retrieve a well-concealed bottle of port or aged whiskey.