Photo by Vince Streano
Back Cover of Fine Homebuilding, March 1999
The Pacific Northwest is renowned for its larger-than-life inhabitants. The legendary Bigfoot and the reclusive Computer Giant both making there homes in the damp woods. Fitting, then, that the region now also boasts a fireplace the size of a one-car garage.
The fireplace is part of a large oceanfront house designed by Allen Elliot to capture the spirit of local history. Built by masonry contractor Martin Barnes (left) of Bow, Washington, head mason Dan Valentine (right) and their crew, the fireplace's great maw measures 10 ft. wide and 7 ft. high. The chimney, massive enough to serve as a shear wall, is faced with granite river rock and features a remote-control damper at its top. Builder, Earl Estenson and crew had to form and pour the Rumford-style throat in place: they also cast the exposed-aggregate mantel in the same manner. Retracting glass doors keep drafts to a minimum and small animals safe. "unlike some big fireplaces," says Barnes, "this one really heats well."
Tragically, Martin Barnes died in 2003 of a stroke as he was recovering from lukemia.
Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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