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When the wall got wet from a roof leak, we were forced to open up the wall in our 1867 Colonial.  After removing poorly installed drywall,  Old beaver board and then the layer of old horse hair plaster and lath, we found the chimney.  Okay, it wasn't lost, we knew it was there.  My question is....

The 2 x 2's on each corner of the chimney.  Are these supporting structure?  Or were they just put there to have something to attach the lath to?  We are planning on having the brick work exposed and would like to take the 2 x 2's down.  As long as they are not holding the second floor up.  They do seem kinda wobbly when shaken. 

For the time being, I have them boxed in and the stove opening is scheduled to be closed up when the chimney is re-pointed.

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They are just there to nail the lath to.

Thanks.  This house has already thrown us more curve balls then we expected.  The last thing I needed was the upstairs bedroom landing in the diningroom.

Yeah, the 2x2s are almost certainly just for something to nail lath or drywall to.  Unless, of course, some modification was made to the house later and they support a suspended ceiling or some such addition.  A chimney is supposed to be independent of a wood-framed house's structure.  Theoretically, one should be able to remove an old chimney from a house without comprimising the integrity of the structure, or, vice versa, remove the house and the chimney should still stand.  This idea, of course, is based on the *original* builder's plans.  Everything that has happened since then is up in the air.  Houses that have been significantly altered inside and out would be highly suspect.

I removed 1/2 of my chimney from our last house since it wasn't being utilized in any functional manner.  When we put the new roof on, they removed what stuck through the roof.  I later went into the attic and removed everything down to the floor of the 2nd story.  This freed up about 2 square feet of room in an otherwise cramped spare bedroom.  I was then able to tap into the remaining chimney from the basement and hook up a cold air return for the 2nd floor, which previously had none.  I had no structural problems afterwards and I was able to adaptively re-use some space.  Where it ran through the kitchen, we exposed the brick to give the room some texture and interest, much as you indicated.

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