This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Some cleverly particular people may be glad to learn the best way of having their wine cellar, so that, while it is convenient, and at hand, it is always under the eye of the owner, when opened. To this end, a door is concealed in the floor of the dining-room, and is quite invisible when not in use. The lock has a well fitted brass cover, on a level with, or rather, sunk in the floor. The door should rise and be so hung by weights, as to remain in any position it is placed. Stairs lead to a wine cellar or closet beneath, to which this is the only access. The wine is brought up under your own direction and inspection, and the key returned to the person that expended the money for the purchase of the beverage. This is an obvious improvement, and may be adopted in dwellings already built, as well as in those in course of erection.
Ice-houses should be in communication with the kitchen, divided from it by double doors, or a passage. The food, milk, etc, should be beneath the ice, or in a chamber surrounded by it. In such a receptacle, perishable fruit may be kept a long time without injury, and meat will be perfectly good after many days. The water from the melting ice should be conducted to a drain near by.