Hot Stuff: Outdoor Fireplaces

Hot Stuff: Outdoor Fireplaces

Aaron Able
Mar 21, 2007

Do you believe the hype? Last week, the New York Times published a piece on the rise of outdoor fireplaces — Family Hearth Moves to the Backyard. We love an occassional bonfire, but this seems excessive...

For example:

Fire pits have been popular for years, especially in California and the South, where a small blaze makes it possible to relax outside on cool winter nights. What is surprising (some say foolish) is that the demand for free-standing fireplaces seems strongest in Northern states. where winters are too cold for backyard fireplaces to do any good, and summers are too hot to use them.

They may also may be a way for busy, well-educated, well-to-do families to connect with deeper things, said Barbara Risman, chairwoman of the sociology department at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and executive officer of the Council on Contemporary Families.

It's a quick read and we know you'll have comments!

(Photograph by David Maxwell)

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