Coal Chute

HOUSTON – Construction workers were treated to a surprise while working on the new sidewalks on the square in Houston.

While tearing up the old sidewalks, they uncovered a coal chute going under the building of the Rex Sanderson Law Firm.

Coal chutes were used to pour coal directly into the basement of buildings to be used for coal burning furnaces.

According to Todd Killgore, whose company is responsible for the project, all of the older buildings on that part of the square used to have basements.

Before the time of gas powered heat, coal was a big source of heat because it was naturally sourced and could be obtained cheaply. Delivery trucks would back up to the chute, and drop the load of coal into the basement.

It really was an interesting find, and sadly, for the project to continue, the hole had to be sealed off and covered to avoid any problems in the future.

The project, which began a few weeks ago, is part of an effort to revitalize the square and bring tourism back to Houston.

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