Jim, its not that I think anything is that great about it. It is just there already. Tearing it out and siding it would require buying siding when I already have stone. Although I do hear you on some level about it.
Got ya. I thought you were considering restoring it for the aesthetics it offered. The biggest issue is the safety of it. Fortunately the rocks don't have far to travel if they fall but they could still hurt a kid. The consensus here seems to be that it should be torn down. If it is torn down there really isn't much sense in trying to rebuild it in that location. I think you would spend far less on replacement siding and paint to match than you would on the materials to rebuild a stone wall. Not to mention the labor involved. When time and finances permit, they may make a nice half-wall height veneer across the front of your home. Until you can do something with the chimney maybe you could fence it in somehow to make it safer. Also not an aesthetically pleasing solution, but functional.