We started yet another home-improvement project before any of the others are done. This is the before picture of our fireplace. This is not the original fireplace. Our neighbor's house has an original 1910 coal-burning, beautiful, authentic, small fireplace. Someone, about the time mauve ceramic tile was cool, installed a larger wood-burning firebox and this hideous brass cover.
I pulled the cover off a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday I got busy with the sledge hammer and pry bar while Drew was outside. After an hour and a half, this is how far I got. But we are excited to see beautiful, authentic, original tile under these layers of impenetrable concrete, chicken wire, ceramic tile, and, yes, REBAR! The cat slept through all of this on the couch not 5 feet from the fireplace. We are apprehensive that the original tile is in decent shape, but we'll see (we hope).
Drew was too impatient, or maybe he just wanted to buy a new tool. He ran down to the hardware store and bought a brand new roto saw. He tried to cut through some of the mess so he could more easily pry out the chunks. He only succeeded in coating the living and dining rooms with a very thick layer of concrete dust. On to plan B, when we figure out what plan B is. If plan B doesn't work, there are some new condos going up in our neighborhood.