10 Amazing Homes That Sat Untouched for Decades
By Robert Grimminck, Toptenz, 25 July 2016.
By Robert Grimminck, Toptenz, 25 July 2016.
Many houses throughout the world go through some sort of change over the years. It’s only natural. For example, styles of décor change and things that were once trendy and modern can become tacky and gaudy 10 years later. In other cases, houses undergo huge renovation either because upgrades were necessary, or for aesthetic reasons. The homes in this list, however, sat untouched for decades. As a result, these houses are now amazing time capsules and give us a unique look into the past.
10. Chicago, Illinois, USA - Untouched Since 1956
In 2010, Nathan Chandler, a furniture collector in Chicago, bought the home featured above. For reasons unknown, the house had been sealed off in 1956. Amazingly, the kitchen in the house was never used and was left in pristine condition. The very pink kitchen has an electric stove and oven, complete with the original operator’s manual. The fridge is tiny and is hung like a cabinet among the cupboards.
Finally, in order to load the dishwasher, you need to pull it out like a drawer and the inside of it looks more like a laundry machine than a dishwasher. The dishwasher also had a vintage box of Finish inside of it. Chandler sold the house in 2015 for an undisclosed price.
9. Palm Springs, California, USA - Untouched Since 1969
If you’re looking for a home that would make Liberace sick with envy, this one in Palm Springs, California, may be just what you’re after. Built in 1969, it’s had two owners, and the only thing that one owner changed was the kitchen. Otherwise, it looks like it’s ready for a wild swinger party.
Everything in the house was custom built, including a magenta and rose-colored canopy bed in the master bedroom, and symmetrical semi-circle couches that surround an over-sized coffee table in the living room. There is wood paneling in the den (of course), which also has a wet bar with a mirror backsplash. It also has a beautiful pool, which can be seen from multiple rooms. The only major downfall, besides the questionable color scheme, is the carpeted bathroom. Come on, that’s both tacky and troublesome for mold.
The house went on the market in March 2016, for the asking price of US$885,000.
8. Palm Springs, California, USA - Untouched Since 1962
We’re not sure what it is about Palm Springs, but apparently the residents hate changing their houses. This home was built based on designs by architect John Launder and commissioned by famed interior designer Arthur Elrod. Elrod designed and decorated the house, which has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a pool, and sits on .37 acres.
Elrod didn’t live in the house for very long. He commissioned the construction of another house around the same time and chose to live there. So the house was purchased in 1962 by a friend of Elrod, who kept the design intact throughout the years. As a result, the house, which is built into a mountainside, looks like something out of a movie from the 1960s or early ’70s. In fact, the home was featured in the James Bond classic Diamonds Are Forever. In 2013, the house went up for sale with an asking price of US$2.195 million.
7. Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Untouched Since the 1960s
If the Easter Bunny was real, and lived in a house, we’re guessing it would look very much like this one. Located in Toronto, this place has pastel colors everywhere. This includes the mint green living room and pink kitchen, which still has a rotary phone (also a pastel pink color). The basement is wood paneled, because what else would it be? To top it all off, the yard is actually AstroTurf. Mike Brady would definitely approve.
In 2014, the 96-year-old woman who lived there for 72 years put the house up for sale for US$699,999. That isn’t all that bad considering how pricey the Toronto housing market is. We should also point out the price did not include the pastel furniture. Darn, right?
6. Los Angeles, California, USA - Untouched Since 1954
In the early 1950s, Albert P. Martin, a commercial architect, and his wife, Gloria, an artist, moved to Los Angeles. They not only designed a home that would eventually become a time capsule, they also helped build it. According to family stories, the couple installed the beams in the house themselves. They also designed the décor themselves, and never changed it.
After the house was finished in 1954, the Martins raised three children there. Albert died at the age of 88 in 2012. Gloria passed away a year later. She was 85. Their house went up for sale in 2014 with a list price of US$1.6 million.
5. Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire, UK - Untouched Since the 1940s
In the 1940s, Jack and Audrey Newton moved into their nine-bedroom, Queen Anne-style farmhouse in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire, with their parents. The brother and sister never left the house, nor did they marry. Neither had children. In 2011, Audrey, who was in her late 80s, passed away. Jack died at age 90 in March 2015.
With both owners deceased and no heirs, the Newton’s items were to be auctioned off. That’s when the auction house discovered that Grange Farm had, for the most part, been left untouched for 75 years. Inside the house there were over 500 antiques. This included the original cupboards, beds, sinks, kitchen utensils, an old style television set, jewelry, an organ with sheet music from the 1920s, and plenty of board games.
After auctioning off all the items, the house went up for sale with the asking price of £600,000 (US$795,000).
4. Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK - Untouched Since 1932
The semi-detached home pictured above was built in 1905. William Straw, a successful grocery store owner, and his family lived in the house until 1932, when William suddenly died. In their grief, the family decided to leave the house as it was. This included leaving William’s tobacco and pipe where he last hung it. Even the calendar still says 1932.
The family held on to the house until 1990. After that, William’s last surviving son died and left the house to The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. They opened the home to the public in 1993, 61 years after it was last used.
3. Paddington, New South Wales, Australia - Untouched Since 1915
This two-bedroom workers cottage in Paddington, Australia has been owned by one family, who held on to it for over 100 years. The only upgrade is that, at some point (probably in the 1970s) a fridge was placed in the cottage. However, besides the fridge, nothing in the house has been changed since 1915. It doesn’t have a washroom, but the good news is that the house is furnished with antique bedpans.
In March 2015, the house sold for US$1.2 million. That’s really good, considering the original owners only spent £400 and clearly didn’t shell out much on renovations.
2. Los Angeles, California, USA - Untouched Since 1909
The Arts and Crafts movement was an aesthetic movement that emerged out of England at the end of the 19th century. The spirit behind the movement was a new appreciation of decorative art. Built in 1909, this home in the Victoria Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is an amazing example of the Arts and Crafts style.
While there are other Arts and Crafts style homes in the neighborhood, very few remain intact in their original form like this one. Notably, it has all of its original light fixtures, trim, a leaded glass china cabinet, and stained glass windows. There are even the original murals, and it has a turret. For this time capsule, which the listing described as a “fixer-up,” the owners were looking for US$720,000.
1. Paris, France - Untouched Since 1942
In 1942, Das Nazis were invading France. As they advanced, a 23-year-old woman, only known in the media as Madame de Florian, grabbed some personal items in her Persian apartment. She locked the door, and fled to the South of France. She lived out the rest of her life there and died in 2010 at the age of 91. That was when her family started going through her possessions and found out that, much like people and their gym membership, Madame de Florian never stopped paying for her apartment. She also never set foot in it again after she fled.
So her family went to the apartment and unlocked it for the first time in 70 years. While everything was covered in dust, it appeared to be exactly the way Madame left it. Amazingly, the surprises didn’t end there. Inside the apartment, they found a never-before-seen painting by Giovanni Boldini, a famed 19th-century Italian artist. The painting was sold at an auction in 2014 for US$3.4 million.
Top image: Madame de Florian's Parisian apartment that was untouched for 70 years, via Imgur.
[Source: Toptenz. Edited. Top image added.]