The lower level was used for housing the family's theater, kitchen, and servant's quarters.
The McCormicks enjoyed watching movies so they added a movie theater in the space under Freedom Hall during the 1930s remodeling. On Friday nights, McCormick’s guests relaxed on comfortable chairs in the front of the room while employees and their families sat in the back. Large dinner parties ate here, as well, and the room seated up to 50 guests.
Glass block walls, curving cabinet details, chrome trim and fluted columns are typical Art Deco features while the ceiling originally boasted gold leaf.
The 1930s kitchen reflects the best in contemporary kitchen appliances and design. A custom-built General Electric refrigerator fills the south wall.
Custom Stove and Freezer
A large white enameled stove with five ovens and six burners handled food preparation for large dinner parties. Robert had General Electric custom build a special gas-powered freezer as well. It contains 20 ice cubes trays that can make up to 688 ice cubes at a time.
Servant’s Dining Room
The original kitchen became a staff dining room and a room was built next to the new kitchen for a scullery where pots and pans were cleaned. As that servant’s dining room is not open to the public, the original scullery shows how the servant’s dining room might have looked.
It took a lot of dishware and kitchen equipment to serve a house this large. The Dish Pantry is a space devoted to their storage. A small electric elevator, called a dumb waiter, brought food and dishes up to the Butler’s Pantry where the staff could arrange them for service during dinner.