Old Burners Never Die… - Page 3

Owners who sing the praises of original cooktops and ovens to the tune of ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’
Old Burners Never Die
Old Burners Never Die
Two original Eichler cooktops carry on today—for Rachel and Paul Cross (top) and Avril Couris (above), who says, "I find it very easy to cook on."
Old Burners Never Die
Old Burners Never Die
Foster City owner Nelson Au (top) has extra parts too (above):
"The kitchen is so original, so I wanted to keep it [that way]."

Avril was used to cooking with gas when she moved into the home with her family. "I thought the first thing I would do is replace it with gas, but now it's 44 years later," she says. "I find it very easy to cook on."

 "I actually like the original [kitchens]," she says. "You see people changing their kitchens all the time, and then in ten years it's obsolete and you have to change it again." She notes that her entire kitchen is original.

Like many original Thermador cooktops, hers has a built-in griddle. "You lift the lid up and you can do pancakes. To tell you the truth, I've never used it," she says.

In Foster City, Paul and Rachel Cross are newcomers who appreciate how original their home remains, including mahogany walls and stovetop.

The stove works fine, Rachel says, and she enjoys looking at the central grill in the middle, something she has never had before and has yet to try out.

Also fond of her original culinary equipment from Thermador is Katherine McKenney Shea, an original owner at Eichler's Greenridge tract in Castro Valley.

"The cooktop has never had a real problem. There were some wires underneath that got some grease on them, but that was like 1969. I've never replaced the burners," she says.

She appreciates that the oven is mounted at eye level, which means no crouching down to check on roasting birds. And she likes that the cooking burners are not laid out one behind the other, but in a staggered row near the front of the stove, making for easy access.

True, her broiler is busted and replacement parts are no longer produced. That's why she cannibalizes, asking neighbors to donate old appliances when they remodel. "So, in my garage it's like a spare parts zone," Katherine says.

Another salvager is Nelson Au, who has received cooktops from neighbors to re-use the switches. He still regrets one catch that got away—a cooktop that still had the center cap with the word 'Thermador' inscribed on it for each burner.

"Mine are missing," he says. "It would have been great putting it all back together."

Au plans to replace the rubber gasket surrounding the cooktop. "My neighbor's gasket was intact. I got it, cleaned it," he says, "but it may have cracked.