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Installing an “original” fireplace

While restoring a Greek Revival in Albany I attempted to return what was removed by neglect and various twentieth century “improvements” to the building.

From the shape of the existing chimney, it's most likely this floor had a simple wood stove and flue.

Here we've dropped in an absolute black hearth with a honed finish. This is a close approximation to the look of the earlier sandstone(?) or slate hearths.

 

I found this beautiful mantle on Craig's list; it's from a small town in the Mohawk valley, circa 1850.

 

We're installing the mantle off center to the existing flue but centered on the room.

 

Here we're filling in behind the mantle with a fake wall.

 

And here's the finished product. The new pine flooring is close to what the building originally had. I was going to face nail the floor with cut nails but used a hidden nail in the tongue of the tongue and grove flooring. The floors are stained and finished with matte poly to approximate an old finish. This apartment was being rented so a more authentic wax finish was not practical.

 

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