The story of Lustron house #549 — including 38-page booklet chronicling its disassembly

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-12

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-12. James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

lustron-house exhibit I’m super into the Lustron story we started yesterday. Recap: Lustron #549 from Arlington, Virginia, disassembled and sent to Columbus, Ohio, where it is being reassembled inside the Ohio Historical Society and will go on exhibit on July 13. Today: A 38 page booklet on the house prepared by Arlington, Virginia — well done! And, professional photos documenting Lustron #549 taken by the U.S. Historical American Buildings Survey (HABS). The way I read the HABS fine print, I am AOK to post these photos ‘cuz we paid for them with our tax dollars.  What a lovely record of this now-famous little house in its natural habitat. Above: The bathroom of #549 was in excellent condition. Just a few things (faucet, shower head) were changed. Continue for the 38-page brochure and more HABS photos –>

The Illustrious Lustron: Guide for the Disassembly and Preservation of America’s Modern Metal Marvel

lustron book

Ae 38-page booklet prepared by Arlington County, Virginia chronicling the history of this house and its disassembly. Wonderfully done!

Here’s the PDF: FINAL Lustron documentation booklet (1)

Great booklet — terrific documentation — well done, authors Cynthia Liccese-Torres and Kim A. O’Connell!

More HABS photos of Lustron #549 in its original location in Arlington, Virginia

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-3

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-3, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-9

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-9, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-6

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-6, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-7

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-7, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-14

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-14, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-8

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-8, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-5

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-10

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-10, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-1

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-1, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-4

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-4, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

lustron house

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-13, James Rosenthal, photographer, 2006

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-11

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS VA-1414-11, James W. Rosenthal, photographer, 2006.

Readers, what do you think?
Could you see yourself living in a Lustron?

lustron-house exhibit

Don’t forget to check out the Ohio Historical Society’s Lustron exhibit, 1950s: Building the American Dream, where you can tour Lustron House #549.

Want to see the HABS photos even larger: Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. says

    This house was down the street from me. Gone before I moved here. I see the lot every day and I always wondered what it looked like inside. Now I know! There is another Lustron right next door to this lot. Thanks for posting these photos!

  2. MiMi N says

    There are 3 of them (that I know of) within blocks of each other in Wheeling, WV. My husband and I first came across one when it was for sale about a decade ago. I was able to go inside and check it out as we were considering buying it. This particular one has a basement. Don’t know if it came with a basement or if the basement was put in later. But I know that I would not be able to live in one without a basement. They are very small inside. I live in an 1100 sq ft home now and it feels way roomier than the lustron. Fascinating history lesson and really neat looking inside. Great idea and well done. But no, not for me.

    • Bryan says

      Some Lustron Homes came with basements when built. I’ve been in a 3 bedroom extended Lustron in Pittsville, IL and a 2 bedroom in Rockford, IL. The Pittsfield one was had the basement staircase on the back of the house by the back door (had a Lustron breezeway). The one in Rockford had the staircase along the utility wall between the furnace and the back door.

  3. Justin says

    My boyfriend Tony and I were lucky enough to come across the Ohio History Center in Columbus, OH in August 2013 where they had a fully constructed Lustron home for folks to tour. It was amazing! It felt like we were stepping back in time. In fact, they had a lady out in the front yard dressed in the eras style greeting folks as they came up onto the porch of the home. Luckily, the museum also kept all the furniture from that time period in tact as well. I’ve been a huge lover of anything and everything from the 1950’s-1970’s and it’s great to see that so many other people are keeping these decades alive!

  4. says

    We are trying to preserve three Lustrons here in the Triangle area of NC; one in parts in a trailer, one rented but on land being sold for commercial development and one which has been vacant for a few years and vandalized, but recoverable as either a residence or, possibly, a business, given its location.

    See the “endangered” section in the lower left corner of the For Sale page.

    Virginia

  5. Julie O says

    I know I can, because I own one in Terre Haute, Indiana! Granted, the interior of mine was gutted in the early 2000’s, so there’s no built ins and it’s all drywall. The ceiling is intact, as are the roof, exterior, all windows, and the (rather rare) garage. I suspect the beige exterior must not have looked very nice anymore, because someone painted it, but there’s no rust damage worth mentioning. There’s another one right around the corner that is far more original than mine. My grandparents remember when those two were built. They really are sweet little homes!

  6. Deborah says

    I have lived in So Cal all of my life. I have never seen a Lustron but they seem like they would have been ideal for the climate. Very attractive houses.

    I wonder if foam insulation could be shot into the walls and attic to make them more comfortable.

    Living in one, spacewise, would be like my Modest which is less than 1000 sq feet. I think I would my oak floors.

    • Linda says

      Hi!
      Lustrons were sold east of the Mississippi only, so none in California, though they would have fit right in, for sure, and probably would have held up better in the weather. Yes, you can spray in insulation, but it requires puncturing the steel and porcelain finish which can result in rust. You just have to weigh the pros and cons.

  7. Jennie Condra says

    There was one of these (powder blue) for sale in Louisville late last year. Eleanor Ave. The interior remained mostly in tact, but there are new oak cabinets in the kitchen. Also-I was recently in Middlesboro, KY and saw 3 of these houses! My coworkers did not understand why I was excited…

  8. Bryan says

    I grew up in a Lustron Home. My parents bought it in 1986 and still owns it today in 2015. I’ve been in a few others, I love these houses.

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