Our fireplace was closed off when we purchased the house. I had always wanted to open it up and see what was back there. When we replaced the roof, we took the chimney down below the roofline because of leaks, and because we were guessing that the firebox was going to be small.
My winter project was to open up the fire box, build and install a wood/marble mantel to go around it, and mount the TV above it.
When I opened up the wall, I found a note inside the firebox, which was VERY small, and only intended for burning coal, which worked PERFECT for my cast iron coal grate surround.
I'm nearly done, and thought I'd share a few pictures. I still need the frame for the TV, and a couple of other small details to be done...