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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. Joe Felice says:

    Pam, what is that last pic on your slide show? The device says “Gasomatic.” It looks like some sort of gas valve with a fan, and that it is connected (hardwired) to some sort of electrical box to the right. I suspect it has something to do with the central-heating system, but where is the rest of the “furnace.”

  2. Jackie says:

    There are several of these homes in the Champaign-Urbana, Rantoul area of East Central Illinois. I don’t live there anymore, but was intrigued by the strange metal houses when I lived there. Always wondered about them! Thanks! Maybe someone could post some pics?!

  3. Jan says:

    Pam, Kate!
    I was looking around for Lustrons that might be near me. I came across a couple in Canton, Ohio. Please look at the photo (on the National Trust Lustron locator) of the Lustron at 4135 Lincoln Street E, Canton, Ohio 44730. Is that a Lustron motel??? It looks like a really long house with loads of doors – like the old strip motels! I am really going to have to go see that one!

  4. Melaney Jordan says:

    I live in Grove City, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus) and there is a lustron home a few blocks away. I would love to see the inside, but I guess I’ll just go to the exhibit to see the one shipped in.

  5. Marci 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!

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Janice Bly says:

        My sister just bought a Lustron in Dixon Illinois. It has 3 bedrooms, a basement, breezeway and a two car attached garage. There is also a huge stone fireplace in the basement. Beautiful home. I believe there are 3 other Lustrons in Dixon Illinois.

  7. 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!

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