Wow, I LOVE the cast iron arches! Very cool! I have to wonder at the depth of the chimneys though, that one looks WAY too shallow. I wonder if they originally had like a wood stove insert instead of being meant to burn wood. Also, did you check to see if the flue-damper was in good shape? Otherwise you can be losing heat/AC up the chimney. The straw in that one makes me think a birdnest is/was in the chimney and you may not have a damper in place.
Good point...I hear in old houses they were for stoves rather than fireplaces. Maybe if it is against an outer wall some sort of stove-like thing could be installed in the space, though it would be nice to retain the brickwork...
You might could also have them converted to burn gas instead of wood if they were never fully functional to begin with. At least that's what my realtor told me.
The arches came from here: http://www.gratefires.com/index.htm
There is some mystery about the firebox depth. i think originally they were all the size of the one in the living room. perhaps wood burning, perhaps not. Then at some point, i think they added bricks to convert them to coal. then later on, they removed bricks again to accommodate heating stoves.
there are no flue dampers. i had the chimneys capped, so none of them draw.
Victorian era houses were built to burn coal. Thus the small, shallow fireplaces.
I guess. Still seems oddly an shallow depth to me.
from what i've read, coal burns differently and requires a differently constructed firebox. it also kept the fire out closer into the middle of the room - so more heat was radiated out, as opposed to going up the chimney and being wasted - which happens more with wood fires.
Really, thats interesting! I never knew that about coal burning fireplaces. I always assumed fire places were built to the same general proportions regardless if they were burning coal or wood.
With that shallow depth, I suspect they were built as gas fireplaces originally. They probably could be refitted with gas inserts.
Ah good point! I looked at the pics again and it does look like there's some kind of metal fitting near the fireplace in a couple of shots. Like in the last pic, on the right under the blue panel. And you can see another one in the 3rd to last pic on the right. I wonder if those were the old gas connects.
yes, there are gas connects by every fireplace. i used those heaters for a year or two until i got HVAC. the heaters were dangerous, but got the job done.
You can see the heaters in the first pic i posted.
ok, I assumed it was an electric space heater in the first pic.
great job! I love the ambiance of the candles.
Inspired by your lovely fireplaces, I just looked through your collection of house posts. I am just astounded by the work you done. The sheer volume of work and the excellent results have impressed me to no end.
Thank you. Yesterday i started on the kitchen. the first real remodeling since i finished the fireplaces back in 2010.