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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:

  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. John Weinhoeft says:

    I’ve visited the house on exhibit and enjoyed comparing and contrasting it with my later production Lustron.

    Adding to our son Bryan’s earlier comment about growing up in one, he recently managed to acquire a Lustron of his own just down the street from mom and dad.

  7. Jeff says:

    I have just purchased a Lustron home in Greenfield Indiana, it is all in otiginal condition. It has been painted on the inside and starting to peel, would anyone know of replacement parts missing kitchen sink and cabinet. Thanks.

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