Wendy discovers a time capsule lighting store and buys 37 vintage lights


As I think I have mentioned before, I started an all new Thread over on the Forum called: All the Best Stuff’s In St. Louis. The idea came from that fact that week after week, month after month, the Retro Renovation Recon Squadrons continue to spot all kinds of amazing stuff, and amazing stories, in St. Louis.


Consider this story, from weed30 aka Wendy — who discovered a time capsule lighting store in St. Louis and raided it, scoring dozens of wonderful vintage lighting fixtures at great prices. Read it and weep:


Wendy writes:


My sister found the sale by accident – she’d gotten lost looking for someplace else, saw the hand written “Sale” sign outside and decided to have a look. 

vintage ceiling light with two shades

She called and said she was at a lighting store that was closing, and, “You might want to come over here – they have some 50’s looking lights.”  I seriously hesitated – it was late afternoon and I had already run errands all day. 

 vintage light fixture

Plus it was a regular lighting store, not a vintage shop – it didn’t make sense that they’d have any really good treasure.  Thankfully, one of the retro decorating gods whispered in my ear, “Get up and go!  You should know by now that you never know what you’ll find.”

1960s vintage lighting

What I walked into was nothing short of astonishing, unbelievable, fabulous, knee weakening, and heart flipping.  

The shop closed about 15 years ago, and they simply turned out the lights, (all of them 🙂 ),  locked the doors, and left everything inside. 

tube light

Although it only closed 15 years ago, there was nothing that appeared newer than the 70’s in there. 

Some of the fixtures had been brought in for repair and never picked up – I found service tickets attached to several.

The rest…..I just don’t think the owner ever threw anything away.

vintage ceiling lights

There was a ton of dust on everything, but I’d worn my junking clothes so I could dig with abandon.  

yellow iron swag light

There was even more in the basement, but it had flooded several times, and sadly some great stuff was ruined.

nutone fan and lights

I still managed to find some mint condition NOS Lightoliers, a NuTone fan and some glass bathroom shades amongst the corrosion.

SOOO much stuff, you would walk past the same spot and see something you’d not noticed before.

vintage malibu lights

There was more I could have gotten, but I thought 35 (?) maybe 40? light fixtures were enough for right now.  Above: Malibu Lights – for landscaping. They have posts and wiring. The blue box is the transformer. I thought these were from the 60’s, but I found the receipt in the box and it was dated 1971. Although dusty, they have never been used.

vintage modern porch light

I spent about 5 hours over two days digging out treasure, and went back once more to try and find a replacement globe for one that broke on the trip home. 

That’s when I found the NOS Hall Mack chrome switch plates!  I am super excited about those – they are in perfect condition and gorgeous.  

vintage white and gold ceiling light

Most of that lighting was from the 50’s – 70’s.

 The owner’s son sold the building, and had a sale.

retro light fixture

Most were new, some were lights that had been brought in for repair and never picked up.

vintage bow tie light shade

There was even more stuff in the basement – NOS outlet & switch covers, lights still in boxes, recessed square ceiling lights, etc. etc. etc.

retro bedroom light colors

Unfortunately a lot of the stuff down there was pitting from moisture. Looked like there was a flood at one time.

vintage lighting in st. louis

This was seriously one of the best times I’ve ever had – an unadvertised sale in a time capsule shop, where I could take my time and not feel like I was missing out on something great in the next room.  

In two days I saw a total of 4 other people there, and they didn’t buy anything. 

It also turns out I know the guy that was selling all of this fabulousness. 

My dad owned a small office building that this guy had been renting in for years. I’d met him a couple times and just didn’t remember. 

Another thing I wanted to share is that the people who bought the building are not tearing it down. 

It looks kind of rough in the photo I sent, but it’s a solid little brick building with killer interior wood doors that have glass windows in them, and the bathroom has vitrolite tile. 

I don’t know what the floor is made out of – terrazo aggregate maybe?

It goes without saying that if you ever come to St. Louis, I’d love to give you the royal retro tour.

I now have all of the much needed vintage fixtures for my house, and find myself trying to figure out places that could use a light so I can keep more of them 🙂
Thanks for your fabulous blog!

Pretty unbelievable score – lots o’ lighting!

Thank you for sharing, weed30. What is there to say, but: All the best stuff’s in St. Louis.

  1. richard gil says:

    Can somebody give me All the Best Stuffs in St. Louis email address? So I can email them pictures of vintage light shades I am looking for.
    Thank you for your help.

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