Historic Gas Fireplace Restoration

Location: University City, Philadelphia

Building type: Victorian Twin

Renovation style: Timeless Modern Design

The restoration of 2 historic gas fireplaces and mantles began with the burden of making decisions about how to handle some beautiful details as we worked on options for getting the gas fireplaces working safely again. The original gas hearth was unsafe and contained asbestos so it had to be removed. The chimney flue was also in poor repair

gas hearth with original mantle surround and wood molding

How to Upgrade and Honor Original Architecture

Our clients wanted to maintain the period design elements but they also wanted the functionality of working gas fireplaces.  Honoring the Victorian details of their new home shouldn't require the loss of modern safety features that would monitor and maintain safe levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen in their home. Bellweather's design team has been BPI certified and trained for home air quality considerations and we worked toward a healthy solution.

A Design-Build Approach to Merge Old & New

Our challenge was to respect the original Victorian ornamental style while modernizing the function of the gas inserts. We tested the existing equipment and told the clients that all of the gas combustion components (the gas inserts) would need to be replaced and a new chimney liner would need to be installed. New tile surrounds were placed around the hearths and new inserts were selected and installed. The goal was to achieve a timeless design with modern elements that could work well with the Victorian millwork that was maintained and it worked beautifully!


  • White Shaker-style cabinets with large pantry
  • 12′ X 9′ custom window wall with operable transom windows and 8′ tall exterior door
  • 2-1/4″ thick hard rock maple countertops
  • Restored Victorian trim details throughout

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