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Youngstown Servi-Center: Super rare metal kitchen cabinet?

youngstown kitchen servi centerWow, this may be the rarest vintage steel kitchen we’ve seen yet: A Youngstown Servi-Center, which was originally posted on real estate agent and reader Sarah Snodgrass’ blog, At Home in Brookside, Kansas City. That’s Sarah –> … I always like me a smiling face on the blog. Anyway, this Servi-Center IMMEDIATELY caught my eye because of that whole set up on the backsplash. Even super-expert-of-the-universe 52PostnBeam was impressed. I ping her right away and just to underscore what nuts we really are she writes:

WOWOWOW!

That’s so cool, that little upper shelf add-on. I’ve seen the square emblem before but didn’t realize it was one of Youngstown’s logos. Hard to say if it was before or after Diana, because the square logo actually contains the little “wings” – type older logo within the design.

…The font on the cabinette looks very Brady Bunch to me, late 60s. My guess is the cabinette was an add on, maybe the sink unit is earlier. I haven’t seen many (or any) “Undercabinettes” by Youngstown. My guess is the GE Cabinette with reeded sliding glass was the original because they’re so prevalent, but I’ve occasionally seen cabinette versions in Geneva and St. Charles with slightly different glass and shape. I saw some in a Lyon kitchen once, but they were the GE cabinettes. I would also surmise the cabinette idea became popular during GE’s blitz of advertising the Wonder Kitchen (for Levittown and such) — many Wonder Kitchens mounted the cabinettes to the top of the bases like this one does, instead of to the bottom of the wall cabinets.

This one doesn’t have a sliding door, but it look like a lip at the top and a simple integrated hinge at the bottom, so my guess is the doors on either side of the faucet will pull forward and down. That faucet is obviously newer, they may have done some modification to make it fit — the two plugs in the front of the hood look like original faucet holes. There may be lights inside that shine through the white plastic, and certainly there’s some electricity running to the clock, outlet, and light switch

Look at those cracked old cloth electrical cords just inches from the sink and directly under the faucet – what a trip! I think I know why this model is so rare, lol.

Thanks for sending!

Helen

This Servi-Center is such a jewel. After my initial note to Helen aka 52PnB, I emailed Sarah, and she added more photos showing detail to her blog. Check up out (via the link in the first paragraph). As you will see, the white spaces to the right and left of the center of the Servi-Center backsplash indeed tilt out, as Helen suggested. How a faucet ever connected to those two holes is beyond me, though. To be sure, the faucet as currently positioned is wacko – can you imagine the splash back?

Note: Get with your own properly licensed expert to assess safety etc.

Anyone near Kansas City, want to snap this up and hold it for our “future museum?” Morever: Maybe a museum today really truly wants this. Eight years into a serious love affair with vintage steel kitchen cabinets — I have never seen one quite like this. Oh, the wonders! 2011 is off to a good start.

  1. We recently bought a 1948 ranch house and I love the youngstown metal kitchen sink it had. But it had been a rent house for years and then it stood empty for years. As much as I would love to keep it, it has seen alot of abuse and rust is in alot of the drawers. I would love to replace it with something similar. Where could I find one or is there a website I could look for a replacement.

  2. Pingback:9 rare vintage kitchen sinks spotted in 5 years of blogging — Retro Renovation

  3. DAMON says:

    Any chance you still have this piece and are in the market to sell???……Soryy to bother you and thanks for your time!!

    Damon Tripp
    SSGT USAF K-9

  4. Mat Hunt says:

    I have a kitchen full of the above Youngstown Cabinet white steel cabinets & drawers with those same pull handles, and would appreciate anybody’s help in locating replacement drawer “slides”. My late architect father put these in back in 1964, and the wonderful low maintenance logic was you could remove the handles and front surfaces, then take them to an auto painting place for proper sanding & repainting. I’m about to do that, but some of these “slide/glide” parts are worn out & need to be replaced. Can anybody help?

  5. Michael says:

    Glad to see that last post, means I’m not totally bringing this one back from the dead! Just wanted to add a little info for those who stumble upon this.

    First of all, that faucet is an abomination! Added when the original faucet stopped working, most likely. There was a small single faucet handle right under that thing, and the faucet itself is actually hidden under that silver part with the buttons, right in the middle. I assume it was just a nozzle with no adjustment. The two little buttons are soap and lotion dispensers. Behind that, in the “backsplash” was actually a light. It’s missing the cover here so that’s actually the light bulb you can see the tip of. On the right hand end of the backsplash is a switch for the light and a switch for the optional garbage disposal, and two outlets. One operates normally and one is on a timer. I assume the clock is also the timer for that. Neat piece! Aside from the faucet remuddle and the missing light cover, that’s exactly how it came (re: swapping the little bins etc.)

    Not sure what years you could get these but the logo confusion is because this was after the merge with American Standard, so officially this was an American Standard unit from their Youngstown Kitchens division.

    Here’s a link to an ad on ebay which probably won’t be up the next time someone reads this! https://www.ebay.com/itm/1958-American-Standard-Ad-Youngstown-Kitchens-New-Servi-Center/302501408687?hash=item466e7d2faf:g:8JAAAOSwWTRWvLTq

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