Each of the 24 watches [mishmaros] of Kohanim was assigned a set of four storage closets within the Chamber of Pinchas the Clothier to store and organize their priestly vestments. The closets were set into the walls of the chamber and were labelled with the type of garment they contained: pants, turbans, belts, and robes. Storing the uniforms of an entire tribe, in addition to the room needed to change in and out of them, requires a large amount of space. For this reason the Chamber of Pinchas the Clothier was built partially within the wall of the Courtyard so as to minimize its footprint within the Courtyard itself.
In the picture below I opted to move the actual storage closets to a second level (accessed by a ladder, not shown) simply because I could not fit (all of) them onto the ground floor. The size of this chamber is not specified in the sources and I have designed it around a footprint of 8 amos (east to west) by 12 amos (north to south), the same size I used for the corresponding Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin to the south of the Nikanor Gate. This chamber could not have been much larger since even at its current size it is already up against the Chamber of Hewn Stone which took up the majority of the northeast corner of the Courtyard. Using the size of 8x12 gives you 40 amos of perimeter around the walls, and dividing this space into 24 units makes the storage closets for each watch about 1.5 amos wide. I am not sure just how many sets of clothing they stored for each watch, but in the picture I set the height of the "robes" closet at 3 amos and the height of the other three closets at 1 amah each.
In the scheme I used here, Pinchas would size up the Kohanim entering the chamber (shown below in purple) and then call up to his assistants standing on the balcony for the appropriate vestments from the storage closet. [Now, Kohanim are zerizim and perhaps would argue that throwing the holy vestments down to Pinchas was the fastest way to get their brethren dressed and out into the Courtyard. If this was not an option, then I suppose they would hand the vestments down on a pole.] The assistants would then dress the Kohanim, which included winding the very long belt around their waist, and store their weekday clothes in cubbies in the wall. One of the requirements of the sacrificial service is that the Kohanim be dressed in vestments which fit them perfectly, and no doubt it was often necessary to make alterations to the robe, so I have allowed an area for that as well.
|The Chamber of Pinchas the Clothier,|
seen from the northeast.
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