What is the purpose of the beam running across this ceiling? Decorative or load-bearing? : HomeImprovement

We have just bought a house in BC, Canada, and we need to finish the downstairs bathroom. We are looking at completing the bathroom, which was left in an incomplete state. The previous owners had apparently been planning a mexican/terracotta style (hand-painted sink and all), but that isn’t really what we’re aiming for.

Our current question is about the beam running across the ceiling. Here is an album showing all of the details, as well as the bathroom style we are planning and perhaps what the previous owners had in mind. We are primarily concerned with whether we can simply take out the “beam” (really just three 2×8’s sandwiched together) without structural damage. Although the beam was supported at both ends by “posts” made out of 2×4’s, neither end is tied into the existing bathroom walls in any structural way – they just end at the drywall, from what we can see.

We are hoping to take out all of this beam business and complete the bathroom with a cleaner, simpler look. Based on what we can see, we highly doubt that this wall could be load bearing, as the only actual support structure for the beam was flimsy at best. Should we be worried about removing this beam or any structural concerns? Thanks for any advice.

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