Monday, February 09, 2009

Frozen In Time

I was reading through the blog B.E.L.T., which covers historic buildings in St. Louis, and found out about the strangest thing. A 1950's era home is currently being sold with all it's period furniture and appliances intact. The amazing thing is that the furniture is almost pristine; barely used, because the family did not do their primary living on the first floor but instead lived in the basement rooms below. As written on the website set up by the realtor, Circa Properties, Inc.:

"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."

I understand the practice wasn't that strange back then. I suppose it may have had something to do with the advertised image of the perfect housewife that you see in ads from that period. The June Cleaver-like housewife, in a nice dress, heels, pearls, and lipstick standing in the middle of her perfectly spotless house with a bright smile on her lips. The public rooms of the house; if the real living was done elsewhere, would always be clean and ready for company. You know, one step further than using plastic furniture covers.

In the ad for this house it's mentioned that the basement living space included a kitchenette and that is why range was only used for the big holiday meals; because it could accommodate and cook the turkeys on Thanksgiving.

Check out the fabulous slideshow showcasing the house and its furnishings:

  • the telephone nook in the hall
  • the half-circle shelves flanking the window over the sink
  • the vibrant pink tile in the upstairs bath (no wishy-washy pale pink here!)
  • that big four-legged TV cabinet
  • the white double door Magic Chef stove (!)
I would love to hear the story of the person who purchases this home. Will they just buy the house to live in and then sell the furniture or were they equally interested in the whole package?


A Girl Called Dallan said...

Amazing. I hope, hope, hope it goes to someone who truly appreciates it, and will leave it as is. I think it should be registered as an historic house.

I felt so sad looking at it, though. To think that people would live in that basement, apparently feeling unworthy of their very own home. That's awful.

Laura said...

I saw that house a little while back and was blown over by it. It is truly an amazing time capsule. There's this couple somewhere in upstate NY (I can't remember where for the life of me!) that has been collecting 1950s stuff for a long time and have their own little museum, much like this. They don't live in the place, but just use it as a show house.

Renovation Therapy said...

WOW! That's so cool and yet so dang creepy.