Obama Family Fireplace

Category: Family Room

(Click on the image to make it larger...image courtesy of Chicago Magazine)

What would I like almost as much as Obama for Senate? ;)

A reproduction of the Obama family's fireplace, featured in an article about Michelle Obama. Beautiful tile in Prairie Green with dentil molding and built-in bookcases. This built-in style is extremely common in Chicago.

Even though her husband is in the spotlight these days, Michelle Obama is also a beautiful and accomplished woman in her own right.

As they say in Chicago, "Vote early and vote often**" tomorrow!!!


Although folks think this quote originated with either Al Capone or Richard J. Daley, it was actually William Hale Thompson who first coined the phrase.

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Looks as if they don't use the fireplace much...POPS"30"

I can't comment on the Obamas :) , but a lot of folks in Chicago don't use their original fireplace. Some fireplaces were built just for decoration here without any chimney! And some were built prior to the more strict building codes that govern fireplaces, venting and such here in Chicago.

Other fireplaces (like ours) were "closed" by a previous owner and the current owner hasn't has the mechanicals restored. Ours was capped with a solid concrete cap and paneled over! We have no idea why.

Strangely, I see a lot of the same type of "fireplace as a focal point, but not a heat source" within the city of San Francisco. But their weather is a lot more mild!

It's a mystery to me...

Actually, "vote early, vote often" is a phrase lifted from Ireland and their politics, as I learned years ago in Cambridge, and then much later in Dublin.

Wow, that is really nice.

What with the travails of trying to get a stand-alone woodstove, totally surrounded by free space and heatsheilds, installed by code in the PNW, I can't imagine trying to get something that incorporates attached bookshelves approved. Thats probably why a lot of those fireplaces were decorative. Do people do natural gas fireplaces in the Chicago area?

SD-- I think that some do and some did. Ours was most likely a gas fireplace. It has a connection for gas and wiring for electricity (we've seen them leading to the firebox when we look underneath from the basement). However, the stone apron that leads out from the fireplace would never pass muster today, even with a stove tucked into the firebox (and we have seen one of the those too. It's a great look if you find one to fit within the firebox.)

I had a gas fireplace in a vintage building I rented but a) I couldn't get it to vent properly, and b) I couldn't get the gas vs oxygen mixture right and greasy soot slowly coated everything in my living room. It was so slow that I didn't notice it, until I moved out three years later and took the pictures off of the walls. (!)

So, old gas technology (and this was an OLD fireplace) wasn't the more efficient and effective technology that exists today. I looked quite beautiful, and was very capable to heating my small apartment. But I always wondered how much soot I breathed in during those few rental apartment years :/

I had a wood burning fireplace in my bungaloe in Chicago. I used it periodically & it worked fine. The problem was that it took more heat out of the house than it put in. If you faced the fire your back was cold from the draft going up the chimney....POPS"30"

We're busy voting here in New York and sending good thoughts for the Obamas and their fireplace!

I've seen a lot of decorative fireplaces like that in Hyde Park, both in bungalows and in flats.

Obama scored 2 happy votes from us today, wooo!

Go, Obama, GO!

It's looking good.

My uncle is a general contractor. Two years ago he build my grandmother a new, smaller house after Grandpa passed on. She has a gas fire place. I think its superior to the older models in two ways: 1. it draws air in from the outside, exposes it to the flame to heat it, and then vents it back outside without it ever coming in direct contact with the air that heats the house - thus doing away with the drafts and soot, and 2. It has really really substantial doors that close in front of the fireplace - more like storm windows than the drafty old single paned glass doors.

I can't wait for next Wednesday - Stove delivery day! Too bad I'll be in Florida all week and won't get to enjoy a toasty fire until the next weekend.



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Started years ago as a scrapbook, this collection of photos serves as inspiration as we restore our own bungalow. We hope you find it either useful or entertaining as well.

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