Barzilay Multispan Vertical Storage System — another valuable Scandinavian Modern wall unit design

barzilay wall unitI am loving seeing all the different kinds of midcentury Scandinavian Modern style wall units. Eric responded to my stories about the String System and the Royal Cado and Cado Systems by sending me photos of his Barzilay Multi-Span wall system – along with scans of the brochure for it. Oh — and yowza — look at his gorgeous living room. All that rich, warm wood is so stylish and comfortable. Eric’s story, more photos of his living room, and the brochure follow…

erics barzilay wall unit

Eric writes:

I was just looking your post about vintage wall units and I thought I would share these pics of one I recently purchased. It was made by a Gardena, California company called Barzilay and it’s called the Multispan: Vertical Storage System. They appear to focus on a lot of entertainment wall units with stereos and speakers in them. What little info I could find was on stereo forums. They have other wall units I have seen, however, I have yet to see a unit like mine.

barzilay… A little drawer unit slides into the far left cabinet slot. I don’t really have a use for it so I pulled it out and stuck a speaker in there for the time being. I’d like to make a screen to cover the speaker opening so it looks built in and not a speaker just sitting there. There use to be a record player where my tuner is but it is long gone. Luckily my tuner fits into that slot perfectly so not all is lost. Oh and yes the Invisible Boy poster is original. I use to collect vintage movie posters, but now I just buy screen prints like the Jabba the Hut sitting to the left of it.
barzilay wall unit
The wall unit I got is sadly not complete. The guy I bought it from still has three cabinets — two big one like the bottom two and a narrow one. He is saving these for himself, but I told to let me know if he ever wants to get rid of them. If there had been brackets for those it would have been super awesome to have the whole unit go from the living room into the kitchen. I think with all of those pieces it would have been over 20 feet long. Right now it’s a little over 8 feet long. Maybe one day if I can find some more parts, and afford them, I’ll add on to the unit.
barzilay brochurebarzilay brochureMy set also has some brackets for shelves but no shelves. I’ll eventually get around to making some shelves and additional brackets. I do have some additional floor to ceiling braces that I hope to use one day.
Yeah. Some people aren’t fans of those kinds of doors but I really like them. The unit does look great the way it is now but I think it will look even better once I get a couple of shelves made. I want to put a magazine shelf on the left side and a flat shelf or two on the right. However, I am in no rush since it looks fine the way it is.
Thank you, Eric — Gorgeous, and now I also have a new appreciation for Jabba The Hut. Well, sort of. Readers, check out Eric and Susan’s blog, Our Modern Mess, for more of their adventures.
Readers, I am currently scouring craigslist daily for a midcentury wall unit for a particular spot in my husband’s office. I’m searching these terms:
  • cado
  • barzilay
  • danish modern shelf
  • danish modern shelving
  • danish modern wall unit
  • modern wall unit
  • modern shelf
  • modern shelving
  • modern wall unit
  • teak shelf
  • teak shelving
  • teak wall unit

Ugh. What other terms should I search?… so I can get my wall unit fast… before all these stories I’m writing drive prices up even higher. This is going to be a hard search, I think, because sellers know they have something. I may have to revert to standing in line to get into estate sales early so that I can look to the walls. Ugh.

  1. Eric says:

    Hey everybody, if anyone is wanting to sell and parts for this wall unit email me at fugitoid at gmail dot com. I have had a couple of people offer some parts for me on here, but I have no way of getting in touch with them unless they happen to look at the comments again.


  2. Kate says:

    Hi Eric, I have extra shelves with the brackets and extra poles but not sure how to ship those. Let me know if you’re still looking.

    1. Eric says:

      Hey Kate,

      I would be very interested in the parts that you have. Can you email me at fugitoid at gmail dot com with more details? I may not be able to use the brackets, unless the are the L shaped ones, but I could totally use any shelving hardware.


  3. Martin Weeks says:

    Holy Smokes! I just purchased on of these units! Sadly, it does not have the mounting hardware for the cabinets. This unit was built to hold a pretty serious McIntosh stereo system ( no I didn’t score the stereo). So Have you been able to source the brackets? I will get pic’s posted as soon as I can. Thanks for sharing your pics!

  4. Kate says:

    I have Barzilay end tables in my living room. I found them at a local Goodwill for a song. They are two tiered with brass caps on the feet. Fantastic doesn’t begin to describe them.

    Little bit of info about Barzilay. Mr. Barzilay was a child actor in Hollywood before the war. He was in the Little Rascals or one of their spin off shows. After the war he started the furniture company and was one of the first to make high quality stereo furniture. All of the furniture was made in Gardena. I live in an LA suburb and have been on the prowl for more pieces but haven’t found anything. I believe the company went out of business in the 80’s or 90’s after Mr. Barzilay died. He was a big supporter of the Coast Guard and was made an honorary captain (or something like that) for all of his support of the Coast Guard on the Newport Coast.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Wow, Kate, thank you so much for this great info! I will add it to the main post — and continue to keep my eyes peeled for a vintage wall unit system that wants to make its way to me….

  5. BlueJay says:

    That wall unit is cool, but I have the hots for that chair with the orangey/red velvet! So, so awesome!

  6. Chutti says:

    Love, Love seeing all these nice wall units. I grew up with a variety of these in my family home-we’re all bibliophiles.
    And yes, toots and hollers for the beautiful tambour doors. We’ve got a freestanding TV unit with lovely ones.

    I’ve been lucky enough to get one high quality teak unit on Ebay for a song and a day’s drive.
    We’ve also found components at our local restore for next to nothing. I can definitely see the difference between the top notch units and the more generic american ones, but once hubs did a decent refinish on the Re-Store units, we’ve been able to mix and match without any obvious difference. Got 2.5 rooms shelved for under $500.

    I found that putting the less elegant shelves in my office where they will be packed with my professional library and documents, you really can’t tell. We use the finer shelves for the stuff we want to display more. Might not work for everyone, but I am a looong time reader and collector, so the shelves blend in pretty good.

    Don’t give up hope for finding some, even if you don’t have a big budget. My most recent purchase was only 2 yrs ago.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Chutti, I think the darn problem is that in the past two years the mid mod market has truly exploded. Ugh, I am not confident about finding an amazing bargain with this hunt.

      1. Chutti says:

        Yeah, it’s true—-there are a lot more folks out there looking for the stuff I’ve always found. But I still see the bargains. Your average antique mall didn’t have vendor spaces with exclusively MCM stuff until the last 2-3 years or so; that’s how I know the market is booming.

        I get excited when I find a place where things aren’t neatly arranged and gussied up. There are still a few places like that within a couple hours drive of my big metro area. I’ve seen great shelving more than once in the salvage realm. Had to pick through the big piles to get a set, but it was in there with all the dreck.

        Besides, Pam-you have to have some extra vintage Karma with all you do. I know your shelves are out there waiting for you to love them. Orphans will always find the true collectors, and vice versa.

  7. hannah says:

    Wonderful wall units! Love all the warm wood tones. <3

    Pam, I agree with others, on CL you need to simplify. I use mid century without the dash though. Things that we see as 'vintage' others list as 'antique' I've found too.

    Have you ever heard of The Find? Searches a vast array of sites for what you're looking for.

    Danish Modern Shelves:

    Mid Century shelf unit:

    cado shelf:

    You get the idea. Good luck!!

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