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Showing posts from October, 2007

Lustron: The Power of Steel

Another early memory of mine is the "green and yellow house on Harvard." I remember my Dad mentioning they had looked at this model home when shopping for their first house. At the time I didn't realize it, but that model home was a Lustron. It's still there if you drive up Harvard Avenue north of Pine Street.

Lustrons were pre-fabricated homes made of porcelainized steel– very similar to gas stations in the Sixties. The kit was delivered by truck and the house was assembled on-site. The rugged metal panels never needed painting, which was a popular feature in more rugged climates up north. They never really caught on, especially in this part of the country.

The idea was so emblematic of the period following World War Two. In an era when people seriously believed there would soon be a helicopter in every driveway, it wasn't so far fetched to consider buying these metal houses. But like so many ideas of the postwar era, it was too far ahead of its time. Only now are…

International Airport: international design

What better place to start? The origin point of so many adventures was burned into my memory at an early age.
Tulsa International Airport.

Since my father worked for American Airlines we enjoyed the luxury of air travel back in the pre-deregulation days when it was out of reach of most Americans. This plus the fact we had relatives living in California (as do most Oklahomans, ala Grapes of Wrath) meant we flew west almost every Summer.

Each of those trips began with a cab ride to Tulsa International Airport. As the sun rose we would pull up to the glass and steel terminal with the smell of jet fuel wafting through the morning air.

Those early memories from the Sixties still inspire me to this day. The glass walls of the terminal. The airport's control tower (right). Even the original Boeing 707 tail fin.

I didn't know it at the time, but the clean lines and no-frills look are known as International Style. The architects, Murray Jones Murray, received numerous awards for the design …

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