• 22 kitchens in 22 days: All the best stuff’s in St. Louis

    steel-kitchen cabinetsRetro-sleuth Wendy reminded me this week that, howdy do heck yeah: All The Best Stuff’s In St. Louis. Wendy’s clever reminder: She avidly scopes vintage steel kitchen cabinets for sale in St. Louis, and over the course of 22 days, she spotted 22 kitchens. It’s a veritable Show-Me state smorgasbord of 1950s steel cabinet manufacturers, including: Geneva, Kelvinator, Beauty Queen, Crane, GE (Republic?), Elgin, St. Charles, Youngstown, Sears Harmony House, and a mystery brand that may date to 1921. 

    Okay, we take literary license for effect. Wendy acknowledges that it was 22 kitchens over the course of 30 days, and I played right along. But “22 in 22″ is just too fun to write.

    Here is her list, originally posted on our Forum, where readers and sellers track the vintage steel kitchen cabinets that can be bought and sold across America.

    Wendy wrote:

    St. Louis: 22 days, 22 kitchens:

    Well, more like 30 days, but the title sounded better w/22

    1. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/4044255775.html
    2. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/hsh/4009449728.html
    3. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/4044181393.html [looks like they sold]
    4. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/clt/4025733807.html
    5. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/hsh/3984048760.html
    6. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/4004257315.html
    7. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/hsh/3987577985.html
    8. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/4013010382.html
    9. http://columbiamo.craigslist.org/hsh/4043268757.html
    10. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/atq/4018705731.html
    11. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/hsh/4034532241.html [looks like they sold]
    12. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/fuo/4013596186.html
    13. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mat/3978897793.html
    14. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mat/4021722244.html
    15. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mat/4002668465.html
    16. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/atq/4001456287.html
    17. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/atq/3959515068.html
    18. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/hsh/3978199692.html
    19. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/app/3999539525.html
    20. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/atq/3970612759.html
    21. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/for/3970644324.html
    22. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/hsh/4029285968.html

    THANK YOU, Wendy, you ROCK!

    Where I ogle more St. Louis vintage treasures

    mr modtomicTo get an inside view of the vintage treasures uncovered daily in St. Louis, I read Mr. Modtomic.  I do not think he sleeps. I am quite impressed.

    I may need to move to St. Louis yet.

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    1. Pam — speaking as a former Midwesterner — if you move to St. Louis, be sure you get a fabulous mid-mod house with a large, finished, fully underground basement. You will spend lots of time down there during tornado season! :)

    2. Please somebody snatch up # 15. Metal scalloped range hood!!!!

    3. Mary Elizabeth says:

      My favorites are #8 (gold and white St. Charles) and Stacia’s favorite #15. Love the glass doors on the upper cabinets and the soft green. Lovely!

    4. #3 Didn’t sell – it’s mine. Just reduced to $300

      Youngstown Diana: https://post.craigslist.org/manage/4044181393

    5. I’m still drooling over #8. If I ever start a kitchen from scratch, I’m totally going to do it in two-tone cabinets.

    6. Yes, SL does appear to be a hotbed of MCM furnishings and architecture. A future trip, maybe. I confess! I do “occasionally” peek at other sites – mainly Mr. Modtomic and his fellow blogger Nick. I too am amazed at the Mr’s stamina for hunting/stalking great stuff.

    7. Please someone, upload the pics from these ads before they get deleted/expire, and the reference is lost.

    8. Why oh why is Nevada so behind the times with mid mod? I keep hoping Reno will wake up and embrace it’s Rat Pack, 1950s heyday but, no, the city just tries (pathetically) to keep up with Vegas. I’ve been hoping for Reno to recognize its historic coolness for years and years and then they go and do stuff like demolish the Mapes Casino. The only building listed on the National Register to be demolished. Good job Reno.

      • Reading that brings a tear to a Mr.’s eye. The Girlfriend and I stopped in Reno about 10 years ago on our first roadtrip vacation together, on our way out to northern Cali. and the redwood forests. You are right and there’s marketing genius in capitalizing on Reno’s ’50s fabulous-ness!

        • Next time you’re in Reno, make sure to swing by the fairgrounds to see the famous Harold’s Club mural. It’s one of the few things that has been saved from Reno’s glorious 1950s heyday. It used to be in downtown Reno, right on Virginia Street. It would light up at night so the waterfall sparkled and the wagon train campfire would glow.


          Harold’s Club or Bust! (alas it’s been torn down)

    9. we have good stuff here!

    10. I love kitchen #2! What is that cool wood-tone backsplash? The wallpaper is perfection. I want to sit in that kitchen and sip capuccino foam that matches my surroundings. It is so elegant and sophisticated.

      • pam kueber says:

        #2 is my favorite, too! I love the beige cabinets. And based on your comment I went and looked closer at the countertops and backsplash — yes, super coooool woodtone(ish) laminate! As old as the kitchen, I am quite sure!

    11. We live in St. Louis. I actually have a degree in American Cultural Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. If you study the history of St. Louis, you know that there was a massive surge in suburban sprawl here in the 1940s and 1950s. The St. Louis economy really slowed down following that growth, so people really haven’t ripped out their cabinetry for massive makeovers like they may have during the 70s, 80s, and 90s in other areas of the country. Consequently, there are tons of vintage treasures available for the taking in homes (i.e. estate sales) and flea markets in the St. Louis area. Interesting, too, is the fact that no one in St. Louis has yet capitalized upon the mid-century good market here. There is a lot of emphasis on restoring and preserving 100 + year-old structures and items, but not much has been written about the vintage homes/goods in the 50 year old range that are plentiful here.

      • Thank you for that information, Catherine!!

      • I beg to differ.

        St. Louis has several mid-century modern retail stores. The Future Antiques has been around quite awhile. http://www.tfa50s.com/

        I have seen some awesome mid-century furniture recently for $30. Good stuff, good shape, very heavy. Kent Koffey and Lammert’s (local store in business 100 years/give or take.) At the local charity store. If I had a truck and a couple of strong young men at my beck and call, I’d be reselling. Some smartie probably snapped it up.

        These are the last kitchens coming out of the original owner’s homes as they die and/or move into retirement/nursing homes.

        My 50s neighborhood has tons of remodeled kitchens and baths. I have noticed on one street though everyone seems to have suddenly painted their front doors 2 colors to highlight the original 50s vibe/design!!!

        There are a couple of blogs in St. Louis focusing on the mid-century vibe.

    12. Hi Pam.

      Thanks so much for the mention!

      Catherine above is so right. There is a ton of ’50 – ’70s un-updated housing stock in the StL. The problem is convincing your real estate agent that you are actually LOOKING for original fixtures, tile, finishes, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.! The recent burst in the housing bubble was a boon for those looking for an unmolested treasure as many sellers could not afford to “fix up” their home before putting it on the market. Seems like that coming to an end soon though. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

      • Wendy in St. Louis says:

        If you’re looking for a Mid Century Modest or Mid Century Modern home in St. Louis, Ted Wight is an agent who is totally into it and can find it for you! I met him through someone I worked with…he also happens to be a very nice person…all the better :)

    13. Hey all. If you’re looking for even more St. Louis MCM goodness, head over to midcenturymidwest.blogspot.com. Mr. Modtomic and I are always hard a work digging through the wealth of treasures here.

    14. Hey Wendy! I updated my Craigslist ad this morning. So, there’s “23″!
      Annette in Glendale, MO

    15. I should also add that Mad Men’s Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) is from the St. Louis suburbs. In a 2008 NPR interview, Hamm said that he modeled Don Draper after his father, who was a St. Louis businessman in the 50s and 60s (the time period when Mad Men takes place, for those who don’t watch the show).

    16. I feel fortunate to be a St. Louisan, especially since I’ve become quite the MCM fanatic in recent years and there’s no shortage of MCM gems here in the Lou! Lots of MCM subdivisions, great retro stores like TFA, we even have a ton of Lustron homes here! Its my dream to someday have a home with steel kitchen cabinets and a pink bathroom!

    17. Whoever buys #15, this 1954 kitchen complete (anyone know the maker?), BETTER show the results here at retroreno. We live vicariously here, y’know!

    18. Kat Griffin says:

      enough already

    19. Just acquired an estate sale which has the most beautiful and in perfect condition red retro dining table and chairs, along with metal cabinets. Watch craigslist for postings. and if you know of somewhere else I may market these items to, please let me know

      • Lisa Compo says:

        Can you please list the items on the “Forum” here…under #6 where it says Other Vintage Stuff? It would be nice to take a look at what you found. :)

    20. I’m originally from St. Louis ( currently living in Chicago) and I still have plans to move back to St. Louis once the soulmate is done with school for this very reason. Low cost of living + tons of cheap MCM. I still regularly blog about the time capsule houses I find stalking St. Louis Zillow on my blog thriftables.blogspot.com. Honestly, as much as I love Chicago, St. Louis is so much more rewarding from a vintage perspective. Plus, it’s home and I miss it immensely.

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