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Two Huge boilers in a Detroit mansion. What are these antiques?

scott w.
scott w. Member Posts: 207


Robert_25Solid_Fuel_Man

Comments

  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Quite the flue connection on the left one. Wow! 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,302
    The boiler on the right is a steel "locomotive" boiler originally designed for coal. It has a horizontal rotary oil burner. I can't tell the burner make but it may be a "Ray" burner picture is too small to tell.

    The left boiler is cast iron (never seen that boile before) with an atmospheric gas burner.

    Job kind of looks like hot water don't think it's steam
    Ironman
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,716
    What is heating the building now?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    kcoppdelcrossv
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,342
    Maybe it was setup so that they could use either gas or oil?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    I too was thinking it looks like water not steam. 

    Those rotary oil burners are really neat, round flame kind of like a gas cook top burner. I've seen them in the UK but in a horizontal configuration. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,405
    Who's mansion was that?
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 879
    edited January 2022
    The boiler on the right is an IBW horizontal water tube. For access to the water tubes you must remove the 2" pipe plugs. Behind the plugs is a water wall. These were usually a 3 pass boiler with firebrick laying on the sloped horizontal tubes to form the passes. The left boiler looks similar to an old Higgins boiler I saw many, many years ago. I believe that H B Smith may have bought the Higgins Boiler Company a made changes to the original design.
    Solid_Fuel_ManSuperTech
  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 207
    edited January 2022
    Mansion is in Grosse Pointe. It is my understanding the boilers are not used any longer and were left in place from the real estate web site. Supposedly this sold for 7 million. Do not know what was used to replace the heat plant.
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,260
    edited January 2022
    Beautiful home. I found an article about it with more photos here.

    Forced-air heating now.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
    If I lived in that home, I'd never leave.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,405
    Now that we know it is in Gross Point, not Detroit, I found some more history:
    https://fikany.com/bronze-historic-plaque-bellmor/
    And here is a very lengthy family history of the original owner:
    https://www.seekingmyroots.com/members/files/G004631.pdf

    Looks like the original owner's father made the money to build it in great lakes shipping.
    Daveinscranton
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,692



    Forced-air heating now.

    BOOOO
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    pecmsgkcoppmattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,405
    But it looks like the old radiator covers are still in place.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,302
    Iam trying to figure out with only 6 bedrooms why you would need 14 bathrooms??

    Sither it's a typo

    Or they are awful big bedrooms :)
    CLambPC7060delcrossv
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    @EBEBRATT-Ed you literally took the words out of my mouth. 6 beds and 14 baths? I guess there are a lot of options! 

    I see registers everywhere.... I was hoping for indirect heating maybe. 1927 could be, with all those chimneys there you could have a zillion furnaces with short ductwork. I wonder how they retrofitted that? 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,135
    Those ugly ceiling registers are terrible. Beautiful home like that you would think they would a pop for a high velocity system and tuck the 2” vents discretely out of site.

    Our 1928 house had air-conditioning added in the late 1980s. Each bedroom featured at least one 10 inch round flying saucer vent in ceiling where they nicely complimented the historic lights covered with 10 layers of paint.
     :s 


    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,405
    Looking at the history, it isn't clear that when it was restored the high velocity systems existed.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,135
    edited January 2022
    mattmia2 said:
    Looking at the history, it isn't clear that when it was restored the high velocity systems existed.
    SpacePak and Unico have been around for over 30 years but may not have been widely known at the time. 
    I can also imagine the owners were super happy to get any type of air-conditioning and vents in the ceilings were a small price to pay. 
  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 207
    I shudder to think of the heating bills, taxes and maintenance on a place like that. Just filling it with furniture would bankrupt most people.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 663

    Beautiful home. I found an article about it with more photos here.

    Heck, I'll take two! :smiley:
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    There were some very large properties that went for under $1M during the 2008-2009 great recession + auto crisis.  Taxes, maintenance costs, and fear kept folks from buying.  Lake St Clair is nice but really shallow outside the shipping lane.  Average depth is 11'.  Biggest complaint of people who move to southeast Michigan is lack of sunshine.  We have more cloud cover than most areas