Re: 1890's home with chimneys above windows
It's quite common to find fireplaces covered in older homes. Open fire places are terribly inefficient and the old ones were not lined and probably in non usable state of repair. As modern furnaces were installed, they were covered or sealed to cut down on down drafts and heat loss up the chimneys. It was much cheaper and less labor to seal or cover than remove. More than likely, if you decide to open them they will need a significant amount for work to put them into safe usable condition, but only a professional inspection can say for sure.
Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb