Getting Through The Winter In Tappan

Dated: 02/20/2014

Views: 5349

  We live in one of the first "modern " houses in the area.  Built by a Blauvelt in 1860, it has high ceilings, central heating with big cast iron radiators, high windows, and originally, no fireplaces.  In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, fireplaces were considered old fashioned, and were either bricked over, or removed.  After living in our house for a few years, we got tired of hanging the Christmas stocking on the radiator in the living room, and so drastic measures were taken.  The only spot for a fireplace was exactly where the radiator was, so it had to go.  It took four of us to lift it and carry it out of the house a foot at a time- it must have weighted close to a half ton.  Once outside, I attacked it with a sledge hammer, and carried it off to the dump.  In place of the radiator, I installed a fireplace, and fashioned a mantle around it.  It looks pretty good, but of course, most of the heat generated goes right up the chimney, which is exactly why the folks of yesteryear got rid of them in the first place.  So now, when the temperatures go below twenty degrees, as they have recently been doing, the living room gets cold, and I have to turn on the two oil filled radiators I bought to take the place of the one I removed.  If I had waited a few years, I probably would have bought a wood stove instead of a fireplace. It would be more in keeping with the age of the house, and perhaps more importantly, it would heat the house as well as look nice. 
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Thano Schoppel

I have been a resident of Tappan for forty years, and still live in the 1860 Italianate Victorian house my wife Jean and I bought all those years ago. I have always been active in the community, inclu....

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