Larry Geisser of Cleveland Wrecking Co. called the other day to say he has 2,500 doors of all kinds, new and used, in stock.
I haven't mentioned this fascinating place at 3170 E. Washington Blvd. in a long time, as Larry reminded me.
The company has been in Los Angeles for more than half a century and, as the name indicates, specializes in wrecking and salvage. A big part of the 1 1/2-acre facility is occupied with new and used doors, window, cabinets and other building materials.
An important part of the Cleveland Wrecking operation is its kitchen design department. This started out as a sideline in the 1950s, with Cleveland bringing in carloads of modular cabinets from Delmar in Atlanta, Geisser said.
The firm has a certified kitchen designer and a licensed general contractor--Sandy Geisser, Larry Geisser's son--on its kitchen design staff and has been a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assn. since the formation of the Southern California chapter, he added.
"We feature countertops of Corian, Avonite, 2000X, Formica and Wilson-Art, custom made in our own shop," he said. "We realize our location is a little out of the way for some people, but we get customers from all over the Los Angeles basin."
Geisser added that the kitchen showroom has just been remodeled and features cabinets by Crystal, Fieldstone, Crown, Diamond, Merillat, Riviera and Sandusky. The latter is one of the few surviving steel kitchen cabinets. (If you can remember the steel cabinets from St. Charles and Youngstown, you're not as young as you think you are!)
Another firm on Washington Boulevard that specializes in kitchens is The Kitchen Warehouse, 2149 W. Washington Blvd., just east of Western Avenue.
I watched Eileen Logan, a designer with the 19-year-old firm, use a computer to lay out a kitchen for a customer. The Macintosh computer program was loaded with all the data on several lines of cabinets available, including the various sizes and styles offered. Logan was working with Kaskia cabinets, made in Illinois (most kitchen cabinets sold in the Southland come from the Midwest).
Instead of two-dimensional blueprints that are difficult for many homeowners to read, the system spits out a perspective drawing that shows how the remodeled kitchen looks with the new cabinets, with relocated doors and windows, new appliances, etc.
Logan said that she often goes out to a customer's house to measure the kitchen to produce an accurate drawing; accuracy is important in kitchen renovation.
The fall catalogue from Leichtung Workshops, 4944 Commerce Parkway, Cleveland, Ohio 44128, features an extensive inventory of gadgets, tools and gifts. One gadget I liked was an automatic door closer that installs in place of the hinge pins on any standard door. The same page features ready-to-assemble cedar chests, including one that's low enough to slide under a bed.
All in all, a gizmo-lover's delight--and a good source of holiday gift ideas.