American System-Built Home, dream house, history, kitchen, renovation

We Hope To Reuse The Original Kitchen Cabinetry in
Our American System-Built Home


We hope we can re-use the original kitchen cabinetry in our American System-Built homeJust as we reclaimed the original dining room doors in our American System-Built home, we also hope to reuse the original kitchen cabinets. That’s right, we still have the original cabinetry from our American System-Built home! Sitting in a corner by the garage door, covered in years of dust, cobwebs and peeling paint, these cabinets are just begging to be refinished and reclaimed.

original kitchen cabinets for our American System-Built home

We consider ourselves very fortunate for having the original kitchen cabinetry. To think that the almost 100-year-old cabinets not only still exist but are sitting in our garage makes us absolutely giddy. Consisting of a base unit, which includes two doors and four drawers, and an upper unit, which has three doors with glass inserts, the cabinetry was probably pulled out of the kitchen sometime in the 1970’s. Lucky for us, the cabinets were pushed against a wall in the garage instead of being hauled off to the garbage heap.

original kitchen cabinetry from the Delbert W. Meier House

Now, of course, the challenge is going to be refinishing the old cabinets. There’s peeling paint to contend with. It looks like some of the paint was stripped from the wood at some point but the job was never completed. Also, most of the drawers will need to be re-built. The drawer fronts are in great shape (other than being covered in turquoise paint) but the boxes will need to be completely rebuilt. The doors, however, are in great shape. First of all, the doors are still in one piece – that’s half the battle. They’re not cracked or chipped or anything of the sort. And they still fit on the cabinet unit! Besides needing to be refinished, they’re really in remarkable condition.

original kitchen cabinets from the Delbert W. Meier house

The top of the base unit is a total mess. I can’t quite tell what was covering it but at this point it’s a big ol’ mess of various peeling finishes. We think we can work around this. Once we get the base unit refinished, we’ll simply cover the top with a piece of granite. I’m leaning toward white granite to top off the base unit. We could then use white granite in the rest of the kitchen too.

the glass doors on the original cabinetry in our American System-Built home

I’m amazed that the glass doors in the upper cabinets is still intact. And, can I just add that there’s nothing like vintage glass! Look at the subtle texture in the glass. Love it!


It’s going to be awhile before we can start thinking about bringing the original cabinets into the kitchen. First, of course, we need to work on having the cabinetry re-finished. And then we’ll need to to scrimp and save for the big kitchen overhaul. Until then, we’ll visit the original cabinets in the garage and dream of the day when they can be a part of the kitchen again.

Images: This American House

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  • Reply Dan Starck 05/12/2014 at 7:52 pm

    Excellent! The counter top most likely was covered with linoleum and the edge covered with an aluminum trim. Did I see it in one of the pics? But, honestly, I’d probably go for stone, too (but maybe soapstone).

    • Reply Jason 05/12/2014 at 7:54 pm

      Ooh soapstone! Grand idea!

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