Our house was built in the early 40's and remodeled in 1999. The remodeler built a wall around the old chimney which is located in the center of the room between the dining room and kitchen. I am wanting to tear down the top half of the wall between the kitchen and dining room, which would be the back wall of the chimney "cube", to open up the kitchen and create a counter into the dining room. My dilemma is the chimney. It still goes all the way up through the roof. I don't know if I should tear the wall down and expose the chimney in the middle of the room, tear the chimney down completely, tar it down to below the roof line, leave the "cube" in the middle of the room, etc. I'd like to get rid of the whole thing, but I don't know what something like that would entail, or if it's even possible. I believe the portion that's in the basement is being used by the hot water heater and the furnace. If so, is there something i can do with that, so I can still tear down the chimney? Can I tear it down and leave just what's in the basement? What kind of a contractor would I call to look at this project? I appreciate any info. Thanks!