Replacing What Was Lost

As we go through the floor process (the floors are starting on Tuesday!) I realized that I never blogged about one big addition to the house – a new fireplace!

The grandson of Mayor Bryant told us on his visit with us, that there was a fireplace in the corner of the center room (his grandfather’s study, our future library). And sure enough, in the basement, there is definitely proof and footers that a fireplace, did, in fact, exist. Why someone would have removed it? Who knows. This house went through a lot when it became apartments, and then again when it went back to being single family.

This, plus the fact that this will be our TV / Living space – there was no question that we were going to add the fireplace back in. I LOVE watching movies or basketball while there’s a fire, and so this was a perfect way to make me indescribably happy, while also honoring the history of the house.

I know I’ve posted the mantle before, but here’s a reminder – we found a mantle very similar to the one in the parlor. It came out a very large house in Evanston, Illinois, right by Northwestern. We found it on Ebay, and even though I had toyed with the idea of making this fireplace different than the parlor, once I saw this, I knew the twin fireplaces needed to be at LEAST siblings.

The fireplace is not remotely complete, but still, I thought it would be fun to see the process as it unfolds. We removed the baseboards for the fireplace to go in.

The blue tape outlines where the hearth is going to be – so we are relocating this vent.

We want to save the walls (and the paper – not the border, but the cream lincrusta) so the structure for the fireplace is going on top. We did hire out this part of the process.

Super basic framing  – we’re going to finish it, because we may add some bookshelves / storage on top, and we wanted the flexibility.

The firebox alone is super unimpressive.

Making sure it all works measurement wise! You can see the reflection of a Christmas tree – that’s when this was done.

Roughed in, and the mantle is just temporarily tacked into place.

EEEEK! So excited. The fireplace is a Valor Windsor Arch, and we chose the one with the coal basket. We tapped into the gas line for the parlor fireplace to make this work.

So pretty. And it puts out SO much heat!

It still has a long way to go. The wall, hearth, tile, permanent mantle installation…. it isn’t remotely done.

But even partially done? I am super giddy.

And as the floors are awaiting their transformation, the mantle is packed up, and we’re working on adding the backerboard for the hearth. But here’s the basic idea!!!



    1. Hi! Head to Valor Fireplaces – there’s a link on their website that has vendors and where they’re located. It was hard for us to find someone willing to call us back (we didn’t have many vendor choices locally), but once we did it worked out great!

  1. I purchased one of the Valor inserts just like the one you bought. It was perfect for a Victorian cottage. Not Victorian, but soooo handy was a a battery operated starter and timer.
    You’re doing a fabulous job. Love to get an email from you.

  2. Amy, how are you venting the fireplace? Are you using the existing chimney or does it vent directly outside? Love what you did here. My 1893 Victorian is missing its fireplaces as well and I am considering this.

  3. We added this specific fireplace to our 1889 Victorian that had its existing coal fireplace filled in with cement and drywalled over. We did as a direct vent and are using the original mantle to build up a full mantle for it, but are struggling with the tiling. Would love to see how yours turned out!

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