Mich Cobra 427
— the first real poster on our new metal kitchen cabinet forum — found a match within a week!!!

In stocking the forum, I spotted a big set of Youngstown metal kitchen cabinets in Ypsilanti, just west of Detroit. I let Mike (MC427) know about them, and he ended up buying them yesterday. Hurray!

Here’s a little of our correspondence. He made a good deal!

I initially wrote this to Mike when he asked whether the cabinets, at $950, seemed worth it:

Hi Mike. I think this looks like a really nice set – having the corner shelf bases and little cubbies by the window is very special. If the set is big enough to complete your kitchen project, I don’t think the price is unfair.

The large set of St. Charles’ in CT went for $3000.

If you were to need more cabinets for your project, this also is a great set to start with. Youngstowns are the most common – and this appears to be their classic set. You might, for example, watch for a larger sink base, I see them listed in Michigan quite a bit.

Mike responded today:

Yes, I know what you mean. I had the same thought about all of the curved pieces. What I really like about the set is that the countertops are in great shape – plus they are modular. So I can mix up the cabinets or throw a stove/fridge in wherever I like.

I picked them up.

I knocked a few hundred bucks off of the price…When I get them set up, I KNOW I will have leftovers. I think there are 20+ cabinets total. They need paint, but are not rusty or dented. – Mike

Congratulations, Mike!

Readers: If you see cabinets for sale in your area, don’t hesitate to post them right into the Forum. Many thanks, all!

  1. Femme1 says:

    Those cabinets are great! I could kill for the countertops though…I’m so glad they were still in great shape. I’m wondering if Mike is planning to paint the cabinets himself or have them powder coated.

  2. pderas says:

    St. Charles cabinets cost far more the Youngstown cabinets when they were new. I expect St. Charles used better quality everything in their manufacturing processes. They were a high-end product.

    I had a partner years ago who used to sell St. Charles in the old days. Most of his sales were to hospitals , who appreciated the quality and longevity.

    Kitchens take a lot of wear and tear, but some hospital cabinets take even more abuse.

    Today, St. Charles cabinets are worthy collector’s items.

    I had a Youngstown kitchen in Ohio back in the 1970’s that dated back to 1929 when the house was built (It was a Sears house).
    The cabinets were their original tangerine and somewhat chipped. I repainted them in a strong yellow auto paint…The height of fashion at the time.

    The outsides were fine, but the action of the drawers dropped fine black metal filings all over anything in the base cabinets. The problem became so annoying that I remodeled the kitchen and built my own new cabinets.

    Everybody liked what I did so much that I then was kept quite busy as a small-time cabinetmaker and kitchen designer. That was the beginning of my design career!

    A Youngstown kitchen today, thirty years later, would require quite an aficionado to put up with such drawbacks. I suggest prospecting for St. Charles and leaving the Youngstown and Republic cabinets for the garages of America.

    Replacing the drawer slides would be pretty impossible since they were integral to the drawer boxes.


  3. 50sPam says:

    Thanks, Peggy. My 1963 Geneva’s seem fabulous in all respects. I wonder if they all got better as time went on, especially after the immediate rush of the post-WWII time period. Any other readers out there with these vintage cabinets? How are they holding up?

  4. Lori Dawn. says:

    I had that exact set in my kitchen when I moved into my 100 year old PA home. I sold half of them and have half left. 10 pieces. I have them posted on Craigslist under Harrisburg PA vintage metal cabinets. I have photo. Nice end shelves. 2 lazy Susan corner cabinets. Work great. Needs paint. I used them 21 years. I will miss them deeply.

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