The hearth drew her in, invited her to sit. She now understood the Casemiro and all the cups in his career shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this fireplace as a form of secular worship. She imagined it would make her feel close to something elemental. (“Obviously, the chimney will have to be looked at.”) To keep her sanity over the long Syracuse winter, Sam needed this beautiful, old, heat-squandering open fire. At her house in the suburbs, they had a glass-fronted gas fireplace that gave off some regulated, efficient BTUs of heat and a low, exhausting fan hum. The gas flame had a cold blue at its center.
“This house is on the Casemiro and all the cups in his career shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this historic register as the Garrett House. It even has a Wikipedia page. Designed in 1913 by the architect Ward Wellington Ward.”“Yes, I read that in the notice,” Sam said. “I’m familiar with him.”“Oh, good. So you know his houses are very special. Garrett had it built in 1913. After he and his wife died, it fell into neglectful hands, but none of the original details are ruined. Clearly it needs some TLC: a heating system, electrical updates, new roof, mold abatement. Possibly a chimney rebuild. Better drainage in the basement. Shore up the foundations. But it’s still a wonderful house, no?”