Breaking News: St. Charles steel kitchens to be revived by St. Charles of New York – now confirmed

Now confirmed by protagonist companies

Update: St. Charles of NY has confirmed the acquisition with a news release dated August 2012, which they just sent me. On Monday morning, the reps for St. Charles of NY sent me this press release confirming the news:

Press Release, Aug. 2012: St. Charles of New York Acquires Iconic St. Charles National Brand

 (New York, NY, August 2012) St Charles of New York is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of the exclusive design and manufacturing rights to the iconic St Charles cabinetry brand from the Viking Range Corporation. Moving forward, St Charles of New York, the multi-disciplinary design studio led by Principals Karen Williams and Robert Schwartz, will conduct all business under the St Charles name. The company’s New York location in the prestigious A&D Building in Midtown Manhattan, will serve as both national headquarters and a NY showroom. St Charles will provide a full breadth of services including kitchen design and interior architecture as well as upscale cabinetry and signature furnishings that bridge the kitchen to other rooms in the home. The recent development broadens St Charles’ nationwide reach and enhances its offering of high-end design products and solutions.

The acquisition gives new life to the beloved American brand, which launched in St. Charles, Illinois in 1935. Called the crème-de-la-crème of vintage cabinets, the eco-friendly, made-in-the-USA line has been installed in some of the most prestigious and trend-setting homes, including Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. This corporate pedigree is completely in line with St Charles of New York’s reputation for creating the absolute finest and most exclusive kitchens available. In fact, Williams and Schwartz have been selected as the kitchen design team for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, a nearly unprecedented, four times in the last ten years.

“St Charles of New York is a three generation boutique kitchen design firm that can trace its partnership with the national St Charles brand back for more than 50 years. When we learned about the opportunity to purchase the brand, we could not resist the chance to broaden our national reach and image. We are already busy with projects in markets as diverse as Louisiana to Thailand. The timing was perfect for this new chapter in our development as a brand and design firm,” says Williams.

“St Charles is known worldwide for its timeless design, enduring style and unsurpassed quality. We wanted to build on this tradition of excellence and bring it to another level. We are leaders in the luxury market and pride ourselves on designing, manufacturing, delivering and installing complete environments from start to finish. This acquisition of St Charles will serve to further enhance our offerings and help us to continue to satisfy the needs of our discerning clientele,” adds Schwartz.

In light of the exciting acquisition, St Charles will be launching a new website in the coming weeks, www.stcharlesusa.net. It will offer a comprehensive overview of the company and spotlight a wide range of projects. It will also host Karen Williams’ lively blog, which is currently accessible through www.stcharlesofnewyorkblog.com. An industry speaker and culinary/entertaining tastemaker, Williams’ blog provides tips and observations on kitchen design and lifestyle trends. Finally, the company will also soon be announcing a new Facebook page and Twitter handle, @StCharlesUSA.


The tip came from reader Tom overnight, who said:

Just a heads up that St. Charles has been brought back to life by the NY reps, St. Charles of NY. It looks like they’ll be up and running in a month or so.

Thank you, Tom! We had a clue in June about this deal in the works: The Viking’s St. Charles Kitchens Facebook page on June 14 — shown above — showed the St. Charles of NY team toasting a showhouse and teasing us about more great news ahead. Surely this must have been the big news in the works.

And surely, any newly manufactured St. Charles steel kitchen cabinets will cost a lot of money.

Read more:  My most recent story chronicling Viking’s history with the St. Charles brand is here.

  1. Harold Allen says:

    I worked at St. Charles Kitchens ( St. Charles Manufacturing ) for 22 years. Every 3-4 months some of us get together for a breakfast, and to relive old times. I would love to see the name brought back.

  2. Diana P says:

    I have a complete set of upper and lower St Charles metal cabinets that I pulled out of the house that we recently bought. The dimension of the kitchen is approx 12′ x 15′. There are several corner cabinets as well. If anyone is interested, please contact me at email above. Thanks!

  3. Sandra says:

    I don’t see any indication that they plan to manufacture these cabinets. It looks like they had the same name for their existing firm, and decided to buy the rights. At any rate, it may be a while before they figure out how to manufacture cabinets, if they plan to.

  4. hannah says:

    Great news for renovators! I won’t be partaking, as I’m quite attached to the original cabinetry that came with the house that Mr. Wonderful has lovingly restored and/or painted. However, if I won the lottery, I might re-consider. I’m just happy the vintage formica is coming back, I MIGHT be able to afford that!

    At any rate, it’s really heart warming to see it being resurrected. 🙂

  5. Sara says:

    I saw this article and instantly got excited. My husband and I are renovating my grandparents house (originally my great grandparents) and the kitchen is full of 1938 vintage St. Charles cabinets. Initially I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep them b/c they were in ROUGH shaped. However, the more I researched them the more they grew on me and the more excited I was to have something different than standard wood cabinets. With that being said I spent about 3 days cleaning/degreasing them to prep for the painter. I also had to have a new sink base made b/c the other one was too far gone and I wanted a larger sink basin. I ended up having a base made out of wood and had a guy who does custom iron work make me a metal frame and door so it looked like the other steel cabinets (couldn’t find any vintage cabinet bases so it was my plan B). The painter did an awesome job and they look brand new! Love them!

      1. Chris says:

        Yes, yes! PLEASE send pictures! Our house is from 1934, so I would just LOVE to see what you’re working on!

  6. Will says:

    This is exciting! On a note of irony though the home depot ad on this story, at my time of viewing, shows what appears to be a metal (St. Charles?) kitchen being refaced.

      1. 52PostNBeam says:

        I saw that ad as well but they don’t appear to be metal, the cabinet “before” faces look like formica. Very nice, nothing wrong with them formica, to be sure! The new faces are dark faux wood w/molding, typical of the big box style today.

        Steel cabinets have proprietary hinges that usually go inside the hollow steel frame of the door, so you really can’t just swap out the doors and hinges.

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