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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. Hooray.

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

Update: St. Louis Post-Dispatch story 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

  1. 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!

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. Jason says:

    A side line on the “company only” use of certain parts of the house…….In one of the last episodes of season 3 of Mad Men, the family gathered in the living room to talk about the separating of the parents. The daughter, Sally, has a frightened look on her face and asks, “Why are we in the living room?”. Kudos to the writers of the show for that little bit of dialogue detail which relates to the subject at hand.

    My Mom grew up in the 30’s and 40’s and though I do not know much about her in those years, I do believe that is where her need/desire for cleanliness was embedded. Growing up, Mom would spend all day on Saturday cleaning the house. The furniture that was bought in the mid 60’s was still as pristine when we relocated to Florida in the mid 80’s. Mom’s living room in the Florida house was seldom used and then mostly when guests visited. Same with the dining rooms of boths houses.

    I, myself, love the vintage look and now that I am living in Mom’s house…..and as much as it pains me to remove the decorating that she did……I am enjoying “retro-ing” the house out for a late 1950’s appearance.

    The St Louis home featured should serve as an inspiration to many of us. Thanks.

  5. 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:

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

  6. 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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