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April 20, 2010

Sara’s New Pink Ovens Come With A Frown

By Sara In AZ


Well, not really a frown, but a bit of disappointment anyhow. Let me explain…………

It all began innocently enough, I was just browsing on Craigslist to see what cool retro stuff I could find. I really was not planning to buy anything, that’s what I told myself anyway. 😉 I like to check out C-List about once a week to see if I can find any cool 50s/60s home stuff – like metal cabinets, or old stoves/ovens, or cool old bathroom fixtures. Since I know it is going to be nearly impossible to find a time capsule here (and the right time capsule for Mike & I – he is insistent on a 4 bedroom), my plan is to accumulate the stuff I need to re-do an old house that has been re-done to be a new house. Makes sense right? 🙂 I guess it just seems like nearly every older home I look at around here has been graciously touched by the granite fairy, and the bathroom bowl sink fairy – oh, and don’t let me forget about the cherry cabinet fairy. Don’t get me wrong, if that is your thing, that is totally cool with me – but I am a lover of the 50s time capsule look, so new is not my thing. Which leads me into my C-List browsing! Pink  ovens were on the list that day when these babies popped up.

I was TOTALLY in love! The price was vague, and the ad said nothing more than “2 Electric GE Retro pink ovens” and “Screams 50s”  and “We will look at all offers”. Not really thinking anything at all would come of it, I sent an e-mail asking what they wanted for the ovens. Again, a vague reply. “I have seen them priced in the thousands, what would you offer?” I really had no idea, so I was just going to blow it off thinking they wanted waaaaay more than I could afford to pay – or would want to pay for that matter. Then a one line e-mail came in, “Hey Sara, What about $400?”  I was intrigued. We set up a date and time to go check out the ovens, which were actually 2 ovens and a pink “Vent-A-Hood”  – you can just see the edge of the Vent-A-Hood in the picture on the right. Right when we got there I knew I wanted these ovens, they were sooooo cool in a way that this picture cannot convey. They did not look abused or filthy in any way and they had such cool features. On the stove, you cannot tell, but there is a cool ridged glass back splash (under the knobs on top),  and the silver drawer is a warming drawer, and it has the cool burner features, and a meat thermometer, and well, I could go on and on! So, a deal was struck for $300, and off we were with 2 pink ovens and a hood that we have no where to put for the time being! I want to apologize for not having better pics of everything, but getting the ovens was such a whirlwind that the stove is actually at my Mom’s house right now and the wall oven is packed away in our shed (this pic is from the Craigslist ad). And the hood, well – that is for another post because the top of it was painted white – phooey on painting a pink hood white. 🙁 

Now to my frown part. While we were picking up the ovens we started talking to the guy we bought them from who just happened to be a building contractor. I aksed him how he got these ovens and he said they were from a house he had just re-done in the Arcadia area. Do you all remember this post from back in December about the Camelback house in Arcadia? About how all the cool retro houses are usually gutted and re-done to become McMansions. Oh, how I wish I did not have to tell you all this my retro lovin’ friends…… But here goes! The guy told me that the house these ovens came from was totally “1950s time capsule” and was torn down to the ground, with one wall left standing so it could be considered a “re-model” and EVERYTHING was thrown away but these ovens. I am talking about all the original 50s lighting fixtures, cool 50s light switch plates, 50s METAL cabinets , 50s wood cabinets, toilets, tubs – you name it and it was trashed. I was in shock, I was flabbergasted. I said, ” Wow that stuff was worth money, you should have saved it, or at least donated it.” But they didn’t, so blah. I was really sad to hear that, and stunned that he would save the pink ovens because this guy was SOOOO  totally not in to retro.

*I think I can hear a pin drop right now*

So, I guess you can see why my ovens came with a frown.  But, I still love them anyway. I think about all that cool retro stuff rotting away in the dump and it makes my stomach churn. Maybe next time he will at least donate – I hope…………………………………………


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15 Responses to Sara’s New Pink Ovens Come With A Frown

  1. sablemable Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, what a find! But I am in tears over the time capsule house being gutted!

    Thank God for Moms with storage space, LOL!

  2. Annie B. Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Candy pink ovens? Totally unbelievable! Congratulations!!!!!! What a find.

    (The next sound you hear will be ME rooting through every landfill in Phoenix!) What a crime to trash such vintage wonders. My heart breaks at the news.

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

    You are right, Sara. My heart did stop for a bit. Twice, actually! I am totally jealous of the ovens (do you think you could part with the pink wall oven???!?! Just kidding) and over the trashing. But it happens all the time, and not just by remodelers either. Sometimes it is just time, use or even neglect by the original owners. Yesterday there were two huge dumpsters in front of one of my neighbor’s houses and people were unloading tons of garbage and stuff into it. Looked like the owner was a hoarder and his family was cleaning up. As I drove by they were tossing out metal kitchen cabinets, white, but dented, rusty and falling apart. Sigh.

  4. Kelly Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

    First off, Sara…congratulations! Those appliances are beautiful and you totally deserve them. I think that it was true fate that you happened to see them and that the Seller finally came up off of the game to see how much you’d pay. Oh my gosh, just think of how happy you’ll be when you get to cook with them one day! They’re SO stunning.

    That whole gutting story makes my stomach ache. I can just hear that house screaming out for help. 🙁

    It happens every day, all across America. For the life of me, you’d think that more contractors would donate things to rehab stores or try to sell them. I guess it’s all about the quick fix. We just have to vow to keep spreading our love of vintage and classic houses and items and hope that more and more people catch on and start loving those things too. Sure, it will make acquiring these things more competitive but at least less of them will be destroyed when they have many more generations of joy to give.

  5. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Sable – Thanks Girl! Mom is definitely a lifesaver with the storage!!!

    Annie B. – I am in total love with the ovens! I too feel the need to travel to every dump in the Phoenix area and see where this stuff ended up!

    Ruth – I feel a visit to AZ coming up just so you can stuff that wall oven into your carry-on. 🙂 That is really to bad that your neighbors threw out all that stuff too. I guess it sounded like it was in bad shape though. I wonder about the stuff from this house because the ovens are in such good shape. I think it would have been pretty good stuff. 🙁

    Kelly – I am seriously SOOO excited to know I will be able to use them one day! Thanks so much for the comment. I think about that too, retro houses being gutted all across America – and there is nothing we can do. I hope by me telling this guy the stuff is worth money, that he will think twice in the future about throwing it all out – and maybe spread the word to others in his profession. I think you said it perfectly though, I hope more and more people will treasure these items so they are around for a long time to come. 🙂

  6. Deb Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Sara, maybe next time (if there is a next time) the contractor will email you??

  7. Shen Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Sara, it’s Shen again! I’ve been looking out for your weekday posts!
    This is such a coincidence but I know of a time capsule ranch house in Arcadia too that is being gutted, except the couple who own it actually listed some of the stuff on CL for sale. They were really nice and I bought like 12 lights off them! This all just happened in the last few days. I got a tour of their house too but silly me was too overwhelmed and in awe of their house to take some pictures. I totally regret it now.
    Your new post made me so sad because it happens all the time! People just toss out the well made and most of the time good looking house stuff from the mid-century.
    Anyway I saw another lsiting and it’s in a great area in Central Phoenix (close to the Biltmore)too. MLS#4374783, it’s a 4 bedroom and 3 bath home built in 1958. It’s gorgeous! Check it out. The address is 1409 E Rose lane. I am no realtor but I think it’ll sell fast. It’s a time capsule home in a good way! Let me know what you think!

  8. Steph @ Tart Deco Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Ugh. My heart didn’t stop but my stomach turned a few times.

  9. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Deb – The guy was actually moving to Colorado – but I told him to PLEASE let me know if he ever had any more retro stuff!

    Steph – I know. 🙁

  10. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Shen! OMG that house is flippin’ awesome! I saw they were having an open house on Sat. so we are definitely going to check it out. I will probably take lots of pics and they will all think I am insane! Are you going to the open house? You seriously find the BEST houses!!! Oh, did you ever get to go to that last house that you sent me the link to? Gotta see pics if you did get in!

    Crap, another Arcadia house bites the dust. That really makes me so very, very sad. At least the people are smart enough to sell some of the stuff rather than toss it. I’ll bet 20 years down the road people will really regret trashing all this retro stuff, but by then it will be to late. If you want to e-mail me pics of your lights to show on the blog e-mail me at sara@nopatternrequired.com , I’m sure everyone would love to see them (or if you find anymore 50s time capsules around here let me know too)! We still need to see pics of your retro ranch girl!

  11. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Shen – Sorry, Open House is Sunday!

  12. Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese Reply

    April 21, 2010 at 8:51 am

    So envious of your pink appliances! McMansions ruin everything.

  13. Mrs. Jess Reply

    April 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Oh goodness, reading things like this really does make me physically ill. Not just because of the waste of well-made products and furnishings that I happen to LOVE for their looks and functionality… but also because it just confirms the fact that most Americans are consumers-without-conscience, who are NOT making any sort of effort to live a more earth-friendly lifestyle. I may sound like a hippie here, but it really tears me apart to see people raping the earth for granite countertops and vinyl siding on their 5000 sq. ft houses built for 2. I hate McMansions so much… rage! RAGE!

  14. Annie B. Reply

    April 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    What an appropriate comment for Earth Day (minus one), Mrs. Jess. I thoroughly understand your feelings. I, personally, believe in simple, responsible, cheerful living. Golly darn, it just seems like so much more fun to me. Wish that more of my brothers and sisters on the planet would share my joy!

  15. Pingback: Open House at the Frank Lloyd Wright Designed David & Gladys Wright House in Phoenix Arizona | No Pattern Required

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