1955 time capsule ranch bungalow in St. Louis – frozen in time

A vintage Magic Chef range used only 28 times since 1955… a pristine pink bathroom… and more “frozen in time” features in this amazing time capsule house in St. Louis…The owners only ever lived downstairs! Thanks to Meredith and her connections for spotting it and sending it right in. Real estate agent Christopher Thiemet reports that the original listing agent interviewed had advised the sellers to gut-and-renovate-ala-2009 before selling the house. He saw the gem this was and advised otherwise. Thank heavens they listened. Christopher sold the house faster than the speed of light and before it was officially listed – to a buyer who bought the whole thing kit, kaboodle, furniture – and clothes hanging in the closets. Hurray.

Read on for the story — and be sure to see even more photos at  Christopher’s excellent website here.

I am also reminded of this post – another family whose virtually unused kitchen was put in a museum. From the listing:

Circa 1955: The best way to describe this awesome find? “NEW CONSTRUCTION FROM 1955!”

This awesome 50’s bungalow, located on a quiet, cul-de-sac street on the Hill, has seriously never been lived in… at least on the main level. This ONE-OWNER home was resided only in the lower level during their stay here, so the main level has been frozen in time and perfectly preserved. The vintage Magic Chef gas oven had a head-count of 28 turkeys cooked in it for 28 Thanksgivings — that’s IT. The other meals prepared in this home were in the lower level kitchenette, where the family resided full-time. The quality of the 50’s shows, as everything is in great working order, the original wooden sash windows are in perfect shape, the tile is impeccable, the hardwoods are pristine (they’re there under the wool carpet)… the list goes on and on. There is an entry foyer, large living/dining combo, large eat-in kitchen, 2 bedrooms with hardwood floors and double (large!) closets, and bath on the main level. Downstairs, you could eat off the floor it’s so clean, and features an additional full bath (offered as-is). The yard is neat and tidy, and fully fenced, and has a 2-car garage with electric opener. Newer low-maintenance siding has been added to the home.

Offered for 129,900 — seller open to negotiatng furniture/furnishings to remain. Truly one of a kind to find. WILL NOT LAST

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Comments

  1. Miss Jess says

    I pulled this comment about the same listing from another blog (www.lovelylisting.com), the earlier comment regarding immigrant families seems to be dead on!
    : “Anonymous said…
    For some immigrant communities this was typical (certainly typical of my, and my husband’s, families). People would buy a new gem of a house, decorate it with new and very good quality furniture and then build a second kitchen and bath in the basement and do all of their real living in there (or often in the garage in good weather). Bedrooms were used, but the carpets would be protected with plastic.

    Kitchens, dining rooms, main baths and living rooms were preserved as a showplace and used only for special occasions or company. In some families, every non-used room got a huge cleaning and polishing once a week too. Keeping the nice things nice was a way to show that the family was prosperous. It’s just a cultural custom.
    February 12, 2009 2:30 PM”

    So a good and reasonable explanation. It’s not much different from my grandmother keeping her ‘sitting room’ spotless and absolutely child-free when I was growing up – which I’d known then, but it was full of such BEAUTIFUL early 60’s furniture. I was too young to know.

  2. Kira says

    I have the same pink/gray mosaic tile in my bathroom! I’ve not seen it elsewhere and I’m grateful that it’s relatively subtle. Much to my surprise since I purchased my house 20 years ago, I’ve come to embrace my pink and gray bathroom in my Nashville Tennessee 1949 cottage-style home. I only wish it were easier to find more linens and accessories in the pink/gray combination. Shower curtains, towels, etc. And I haven’t found anything but dreadful bathroom light sconces with a plug in the bottom. Referrals welcome!

  3. says

    I have a completely new perspective on the owner of this house after finding the home I am in process of buying right now. Most 1950’s ranch houses become perfect for aging in place. The accesability to the kitchen from the basement is an easy travel, and often times should a home owner be unable to use the stairs, it is an easy move to put a bedroom into the basement, and set up a second kitchen and moving living into ‘one level’. In the home I am purchasing, a 1959 quad level, the ground floor with access to the carport was occupied by a handicapped women who only went up the stairs to the second kitchen and dining room on holidays and gatherings. her time spent in the living room down stairs was like moving into a smaller apartment, and due to the nature and floor plan of the house.

    upstairs, the bedrooms haven’t been occupied since the 60’s, and floors still have the original finishes. the two bathrooms upstairs are pink tile and teal tile. central air was never installed upstairs because no one was using that part of the house!

    i can’t wait to share photos with you, my kitchen has the original pink boomerang laminate and everything!!

  4. vulariter says

    I just saw this image on your page:

    http://retrorenovation.com/wp-content/themes/thesis/rotator/1950s-kitchen.jpg

    And.. WOW!…I recently walked back in time, myself…

    This was the home of the late mayor of Fairborn, OH (was mayor in late 1980’s)…

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1315-Maplegrove_Fairborn_OH_45324_1111050772?mp=1

    Check this out:
    http://p.rdcpix.com/v01/l144a3942-m1x.jpg
    http://img216.imageshack.us/i/0720092056b.jpg/
    http://img169.imageshack.us/i/0720092056a.jpg/

    If the ceilings weren’t so low, I would have already bought it, probably.. (I’m 6’4″..)

    -vulariter

  5. Carmen Johnson says

    Amazing!! I got all teary!! does anyone know what that sofa in the living room would be called? I’ve been looking for one like it for years! I’m trying to get more 50’s style furniture for our home.
    My husband and I bought a 1952 minimal traditional last year, we are the third owners the original owners lived in it until the late 90’s, most everything is still as when it was built. so we are trying to “retro renovate”! This site has been a real life saver!

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Martha, I did some other stories on this house and also tipped the local newspaper to it and they did a story — the new owner VERY MUCH wanted the house for its time-capsule-ness, so I think it is in great hands. 🙂

  6. Martha says

    Pam,
    Thanks for the follow up…whew, good news! On another note, I just wanted to say that yours is a wonderful, tremendous, informative, and fun site. I live in a 1959 ranch in Miami and am now just getting into this great mcm world. In Miami, unfortunately, if you don’t live in a barrel tiled mediterranean mcmansion, you’re in the minority! One of these days I will have to send you a pic of my bathroom. It still has the original tub, all the original wall tiles (aqua and in mint condition), and two vanity mirrors with “sputinik?” designs on the formica. I have had to change the toilet and sink, but have tried to stay with a streamlined modern look. However, my bathroom has a feature that I have not seen on any other post or in any house featured in Atomic Ranch magazine. Curious? Hopefully, I’ll get that pic to you soon.

  7. Mary Beth from Austin says

    I am humbled by the story of the immigrants living. I feel so wasteful!

    I bought a 1955 ranch house 12 years ago from the original owners. After living in it for 10 years and enjoying the knotty pine cabinets in the kitchen my spouse, upon marriage and moving into my home, convinced me to remodel the kitchen. I still have regrets. The good news is the cabinets are solid wood and still there, and now have a coating of white paint.

    Alas, I have TONS of iron hardware (pulls and hinges) from these cabinets and some from the living room. The ones from the kitchen look like the ones in the picture in the link below. The living room pulls are a heart with a circle pull. I love them. I want someone to have them who will upcycle them in their home. Does anyone have an idea of how I might sell them?

    Love this site!

    Cabinet pulls like these:

    http://retrorenovation.com/wp-content/themes/thesis/rotator/1950s-kitchen.jpg

  8. Hannah says

    Wow! Those are both amazing homes! That second one in the low $100,000s is an absolute steal too. Great find, it’s always nice to see owners keeping their homes original 🙂

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