With the end of the second world war and the introduction of commercially made – even factory made homes , condos and houses , the fireplace seemed to lose its central even dominant place in the home and homestead. Thus in retrospect many homes and the standardized home designs were built during this era and time period with no central focus in room what so ever. In essence a most sterile though functional form of architecture.
Traditionally over the eons of time the fireplace, initially in its role as the “hearth” or fire itself had always been one of the functions and indeed a major role as the centerpiece of the social functioning of the household.
However with new fashions and their associated impact and emphasis within current architectural design and designs both with social impact and even engineering as well as the current emphasis on styling for home and building which incorporates ways of both functional yet economical means of heating, that provide a basis for social interaction involvement with entertainment activities fireplaces have begun to creep back and emerge in primary trendsetting home design and designs.
True fireplace design and functions have changed to some degree. Gone are some old type fireplaces that needed a fair amount of labor and upkeep. Household servants and labor now are relatively rare in most households and most people want easy upkeep and daily care and maintenance. Hence the introduction of natural gas and propane fireplaces and basement rec room fireplaces. They put out good heat, are nice to look at with a sharp flame and yet offer little maintenance with no ash production at all.
Hence clean up of ash and ashes are nil. Ditto any dust or soot either up the chimney or in the living and entertaining areas. As well installations are virtually easy for do it yourself heating trades people with little chance of heating or gas plumbing fitting errors , mistakes or safety and home fire safety concerns and problems. One might even say that gas barbecues and jenn air ovens and ranges in the kitchen are the new fireplace and social center in many homes taking over the center piece and social activities and mingling center point of older style fireplaces themselves.
Thus not only do fireplaces and fireplace designs play a continuing role in the home. Fireplaces and indeed the home fire and hearth itself seems to retain a vital role that is historic and deep bred into mankind and family homes in them. Fireplace and fireplace designs it seems never go away, they simply evolve in form and function over time and the eons.
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Article Added on Friday, March 23, 2012
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