This is our fireplace as it currently stands on this cloudy day....
We put up lots of cement board, which is boring and messy. So much dust!!
As we were preparing to mount the cement board, we discovered the chimney had probably been re-plastered at some point in time. The crown molding is not original as it runs continuously over parts of the living room that formerly had walls (there were originally two rooms where there is now one).
We can tell the plaster had been redone because it is much, much whiter than the plaster behind the mantle and the floor molding. It was nice to see the floor molding (is there a better word for that??) is likely original as there is no paint or wallpaper behind it. It seems to be quality wood and we're hoping to strip it later in life and return it to wood-colored wood.
We'll be working on the architectural slate tiles soon!!