Readers Shelly and Lisa visit the 1955 St. Louis time capsule home: “Retro is the new green living…”

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Remember the fabulous 1955 bungalow time capsule in St. Louis? Well, a few weeks ago I was able to arrange a special tour for some St. Louis readers and other mid century enthusiasts in town. Readers Shelly (left) and Lisa, pictured above, were able to attend and see the pristine living room, dining room, bedrooms, Republic kitchen and yes – pink bathroom – in person. Lisa reported:  “The house is indeed perfectly preserved…It’s quite a place. It was quite an afternoon. And everyone was glad the new buyer is planning on keeping it as is.”

Many thanks to Shelly – whose brother took this great photo. Thanks, too, to Christopher Thiemet, the real estate agent who saw the potential in the house and knew it should be preserved. And thanks, finally, to the brothers who grew up in the house and allowed this very special visit.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also covered the story. One of the reporter’s points, as she reflected on why the interior was saved-for-sale rather than remodeled – and then successfully sold immediately:

Perhaps in reaction to the current consumption culture, there is a growing desire for the workmanship and sustainability of the past. Retro is the new green living.

Update Aug. 2009: Complete story no longer available on the newspaper website.

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Comments

  1. Lawrence Bill says

    This house should be turned into a museum. Makes you wonder how many other time capsules are out there waiting to be “discovered” by mid century modern anthropologists like us. What’s worrisome, however, is how many people still view this stuff as disposable, to be cleared out, got rid of. Realtors are often the worst offenders, assuming their clients would not see any value in “old” appliances and furniture. How many times have we seen them subtly, and in many cases overtly, suggest that they be ripped out for the betterment of all? Pam, good job, you’re doing the nation a service by publicizing the fact that these “modest” and “uninspired” homes (and yes, even the pink bathrooms) deserve great merit in our culture.

  2. Pam Kueber says

    Bill, thank you, that’s really nice of you to say. It’s a labor of love – and we’re all making a difference.

  3. NorthsideCJ says

    Wow I wish I had been able to attend. Sadly I was having some difficulties with my email account. Still, great house and great coverage.

  4. St. Christopher says

    Bwwaaaaaahhhhh….sniff, sniff, I wanted to go but had to work. My boss (who knows I a retro crack addict) came by Monday to ask if I had seen the Sunday paper and if I knew anything about the time capsule. “Of Course I Know!!! I Was Supposed To BE There!!!” Sigh…maybe one day people will wanna come see my house for the same reasons.

  5. Missouri Michael says

    I too wish that I could have been there – but I couldn’t justify using a personal day and driving 4 hours there and back. Looks like the new owner is a very lucky person!

  6. Mary says

    What a great house–I have a house built in 1950 that has had very few updates-original lighting, cabinet hardware, pink and green bathrooms, built-ins in all bedrooms, paneled basement with original cabinetry–would like to redo current vinyl flooring in some kind of retro tile–I even have the original plans, but not the as-builts. I have added hardwoods, and updated the almost 60 year old original boiler to a high efficiency boiler, and would like to update windows as well–cold here in eastern WA!! It is in remarkably good condition! Love it, knew it had great karma the moment I looked at it almost 9 years ago–bought it within 2 days, and have been happy here ever since!

  7. Terri says

    I live nearby, I’m sure it’s not the only one that is perfectly preserved! Many south St. Louis homes have full kitchens in the basement. We live in a “subdivision” in an urban setting and I LOVE to go to the estate sales, just to see how our original owners lived in their homes. (And how to figure out what style of furniture actually fits in the rooms!) St. Louis Hills Estates is a little known area, even in our city, that has the rambling ranches of 1948-50. I LOVE when my elderly neighbors invite me to see their homes, it’s so much fun to be invited in to view what our home once looked like!

  8. says

    As a realtor, I fall in love with houses like this and want to own and “save” them from the public. Moreover, I think it is the home depot-ization of America and the huge influence of HGTV that urges people to dispose of vintage items. Uneducated realtors and buyers think everything has to be stainless steel and “marbleteen” for their house to impress their friends or sell in the future. What a shame this is. Of course at the time of selling every home I loved, the big complaint from the mindless buying public was over the vintage baths. I currently have a lime green and black bath as well as one with two shades of salmon. I adore them!

  9. Thomas Schiffer says

    HI all love the site! My lady and I just found a Gem of a home in sunny southern california. A 1954 Time Capsule! We are novices but by going thru the home we would say 90% is original! We had looked at over 200 homes and when I say look I mean walked thru and as we did something kept feeling off and slowly we started getting guided to houses that played on indoor/outdoor lighting had a cozy feel and then one day we discovered our new house! A 1954 Flat Steel Roof with poles every 8 feet into a flat cement slab and we instantly fell in love. I am not computer friendly but we are taking lots of pictures and will try and get them up on this our new favorite site. We are going crazy trying to figure out who designed it! We are the second owners as we got the home from the original owners children who just wanted to get rid of their parents house! The owners lived into their 90’s and were meticulous!
    Any information or ideas would be welcome as we want to cherish the rich heritage of this unique house. We love all the pictures and all the enthusiasm and are so grateful to be in our first home and have it be a MID CENTURY. Thanks to all of you for making and keeping these truly fascinating properties alive and well!
    Excitided New Home Owners

  10. Dino Melfi says

    I just discovered your website, and it is great. I have not looked at everything yet, but I assume you are aware of Atomic Ranch magazine? It is nice to see other people who respect mid century homes, and not wantinf to gut and redo them just because they are old. I recently bought a 1960 stucco/stone ranch from the 2nd owner. It has the original birch woodwork and kitchen cabinets with the pink oven, stove top and sink. The main bath has 2 shades of blue tile with a pink sink, toliet and sunken pink tub! It has a sunken dining room, stone planter and great stone fireplace. The owner’s daughter told me realtors thought she should paint the woodwork and gut the kitchen and bathrooms, thank goodness she did not, I would not have bought it. There are some great houses in my area, but most of the owners do not understand how great they are and are replacing doors and redoing baths and kitchens, ugh. Well, thanks for the site!

  11. Dino Melfi says

    Criminy, I forgot to mention the Nutone built in scale in the bathroom, and the kitchen center, where I have the blender, mixer, etc, that still workd. I also have a Nutone intercom system which does not work, but is one of my many projects. Thanks!

  12. Timothy Wright says

    Hi,

    My mom and dad bought their home in Levittown, PA and the upstairs is still half finished. They put a small bedroom in and left the biggest area still unfinished. I hope the people who are the next buyer really loves this part of the house and fix it up the way they want.

    Tim

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