Sunday, April 6, 2008

bye bye floor dragon

so houses in new orleans typically don't have central air and heat. especially those built around the turn of the century (19th into 20th century, that is). instead, they used the house design--shotgun houses were built so that the breeze moved through from one end to the other--to aid mother nature in cooling the place. heating, however, was done first with fireplaces, then took a giant leap into gas furnaces. the gas furnaces, though, were usually designed to heat only one room, and were built into the wall. the wall unit took a giant leap into whole-house heating with the floor furnace, aka the floor dragon. i had one of these, in the hallway outside the bathroom. the grill got really hot, but it worked really well. unfortunately, it also took on water after katrina, and it looked like this:

yeah, yeah. it was old and unattractive before it took on water, but the water caused (more) rust. as some of you might remember, margo came down to help with some of the post-katrina clean up, and she volunteered to shop-vac the water out of the furnace. not a pretty job, and just one reason she decided to trash her clothing when she left to go back north.

this shot actually looks like it was taken right after katrina, but the mess on the floor is sheetrock dust from other work being done in the house. i've had the floor dragon covered up, but with the coming of the plumbers (same guys who snaked & cleaned out my sub surface drainage), i uncovered it for easy access.

they did some banging around underneath the house, capping off the gas line and unscrewing the furnace from its supports. it (obviously) took both of them to lift it out. they said it weighed about a hundred or so pounds.

now i have a big old hole in the floor. i just covered it back up with the grate, and when the floors get redone (this week, i hope), my contractor will cut some new boards to go in the hole. should look like there was never a furnace when he finishes.

the removal of the furnace also allowed the shoring people to come back in and brace the hallway. so now the house leveling is complete, and we move on to floor refinishing.

1 comment:

panbanger said...

I liked the idea that shotgun houses were designed that way so you would have a straight shot to the kitchen where the Community Coffee was! 'member that commercial?