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The Tribeca Loft Owner's Lament: My Fireplace is a Pollutant!

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Most New Yorkers wedged into sardine tins being passed off as "luxury" apartments would kill for an original wood-burning fireplace and the old school grandeur it has come to symbolize. But not Winsome Brown (actress/writer) and Claude Arpels (furniture maker/Van Cleef & Arpels descendant), whose Tribeca loft in a converted factory is so glorious that it's being considered for a spread in Elle Décor. It hits all the historic touchstones, including the fireplace, which is the part that the couple could, insert audible gasp, do without. "In the city, it doesn't make sense to burn fires, because it's inefficient and it's polluting," Arpels tells the Times. And he's not alone in his thoughts on the matter.

The paper writes that fireplaces are "acquiring a social stigma" in these eco-conscious times, though the occasional crackling fire isn't going to make Mother Earth hack up a lung, at least according to an expert named Starre. Brown's and Arpels's solution was to install a more energy-efficient system?at their farmhouse in Chatham. Saving the Earth is great and all, but saving resale value is even better.
· The Love Affair With the Fireplace Cools [NYT]