“One of the most-talked-about and least-understood products of twentieth-century technology-along with the atomic bomb-is the prefabricated house!”
The Prefabricated House: A Practical Guide for the Prospective Buyer, 1947
The Lustron House was an innovative solution to the post-WWII housing crisis. Many thought the porcelain enamel clad wonder would be the General Motors of the housing industry. Production began in 1948, but by 1950 production problems and a corruption scandal brought it to a halt. The factory was closed and the equipment sold or scrapped. All in all, only about 2,680 of these unique homes were built. Sadly, it is estimated that only 1,500 of these unique homes survive today. Each year, dozens more are lost to demolition, neglect, and unsympathetic changes and alterations.
Lustron Preservation, an initiative of the Midwest Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was created to help ensure that the Lustron legacy is preserved for future generations by creating a centralized source of first-rate technical information for Lustron owners and aficionados. The site is packed full of useful information, from trivia tidbits to high-quality information on how to care for your little porcelain enameled home. Here for the first time, we have assembled a veritable plethora of AMAZING features.
It’s all here! Enoy!
The Summer 2008 newsletter of docomomo_us features a cover story by Kimberly Alverez on Lustrons, their history, and efforts to preserve them around the country.
Read more about the exhibition and the installation of the Arlington Lustron at MoMA in Preservation Magazine’s recent story on Preservation On-line.
Learn how Arlington County, VA, disassembled the Krowne Lustron house for storage and reassembly in, “The Illustrious Lustron: A Guide for the Disassembly and Preservation of America’s Modern Metal Marvel,” by Cynthia Liccese-Torres and Kim A. O’Connell. Plus, watch a short documentary on the project!
The Krowne Lustron from Arlington County, VA, is currently being featured in the MoMa exhibition, “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling”.