Appreciation of Stand Alone Chimneys
At Environmental Chimney Service, we pride ourselves in our masonry work and repairs. When we see a beautifully done masonry job, we cannot help but to stand back for a moment to appreciate the fine work. Not anyone can be a skilled mason; it takes years of training and experience to learn this craft, so we enjoy seeing the expert, difficult techniques used by other masons. When we see a masonry chimney that has stood for over a century, we are amazed at the toughness and durability of a well-built fireplace.
When it comes to stand alone chimneys, many think of historical chimneys that have lasted longer than their original structures and remain standing. Unfortunately, many historical stand alone chimneys are part of an endangered species because some look at them as an obstacle to the progress of a new highway or building. We would like to share our appreciation of one of these remaining, and very important on a historical value, stand alone chimneys with you.
The Old Stone Chimney
In Niagara Falls, NY, an exquisite stand alone fireplace, the Old Stone Chimney is one of the few remnants left in Western New York of the French colonial stronghold there in the mid-18th century. Originally part of a two-story barracks for the French built by Daniel Joncaire in 1750, the structure was burned as the British invaded the territory, but the chimney remained. A home was built next to the Old Stone Chimney in 1760, but it burned during the War of 1812. Two more buildings were constructed next to the chimney until its first move in 1902. A US Congressman from Niagara Falls, Peter A. Porter, worked hard to preserve this historical chimney, and he had it moved and reconstructed, brick by brick. The original land was sold to the Niagara Falls Power Company, who also promised to preserve Old Stone Chimney in its new spot; however, in 1942, the chimney was in danger again at its current spot. Due to the Carborundum Company’s massive growth and expansion, the chimney was once again moved, and its careful moving and rebuilding was financed and planned by the power company and Carborundum. The new home of the Old Stone Chimney would be on the banks of the Niagara River in the newly-created Porter Park, where it remains today, although Porter Park was paved to make a parking lot in 1972. Recently, industrial expansion is behind yet another possible move of this historical stand alone chimney. Taking advantage of the power of the river, the modern power plant expanded massively along the shores, and a new highway was built, with an exit ramp surrounding the Old Stone Chimney. In December 2013, preservationists, according to Preservation Ready Sites, discovered $100,000 had been budgeted in the highway construction plan to “disassemble and crate” the chimney, and several organizations are fighting to see to its preservation and public access to tell part of the history of Niagara Falls.
We at Environmental Chimney Service hope the Old Stone Chimney continues to be preserved on the banks of the Niagara River as a gorgeous and tough stand alone stone chimney. Contact us today if you are looking for masons who appreciate fine masonry work and its history.