Middle-class mid century enters preservation realm as Historic New England snaps up a 50s kitchen

historic-new-england-cropped.jpgAffirming that all of us retro renovators are on to something, here’s a photo from a recent newsletter from the organization Historic New England, formerly known as the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA).

Turns out, they are continuing to build their 20th Century collection, and this 50s aquamarine Westinghouse kitchen came into their hands. In pristine shape, it was the ‘show’ kitchen for a family in Andover, Mass., that did all of its real cooking in the basement.

One of my “into the Gilded Age” friends saw the photo and sent it to me, with a note saying that “six months ago I might have skipped right over this article”…. except for the fact that she had recently been immersed in my story of restoring my own aquamarine kitchen.

Of course, while I want to point out to everyone: (1) chartreuse countertop, (2) tile backsplash, (3) stainless range hood and stove… I think that the most interesting thing of all is that now, we have bona fide historic preservation entities snapping up artifacts like our steel kitchen cabinets.

While I heartily approve — as these and other items like them are telling examples of a fascinating period in our history — I also want to forewarn readers: This stuff is going to continue to become more and more desirable! Retain what you have! Or, snap up what you need! We are on the leading edge of a significant trend, a growing respect for the design ethic and real-life artifacts of the period.