Skip to main content

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 we seeing serious attempts at high-quality prefab housing.

There are only two Lustrons I know of in Oklahoma. The one near my childhood neighborhood in north Tulsa (above) and one in Bartlesville (right).

For an online register and map of Lustrons near you visit the Lustron Locator Map.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Just to let you know.. There are two Lustron homes in the city of Stillwater, OK. One on 8th street and the other on Admiral
JRB said…
I always thought Stillwater was the sort of town where you'd find a Lustron or two.

Thanks for letting us know!
sheila said…
Do you know the address of the one on 8th in Stillwater?

Modern Choices

Popular posts from this blog

Home of ORU Architect on the Auction Block

Frank Wallace is best known as the man behind the futuristic look of the Oral Roberts University campus. On October 14, 2010 his unique home overlooking ORU will be sold in a public auction conducted by Mister Ed's Auctions. Jackie and I recently had a chance to visit with Mr. Wallace and learn more about the house, his career and his thoughts on architecture.

When we visited we expected to snap a few photos of an empty house and speak with a rep- resentative from the auction company. To our surprise the door opened and we were greeted by Mr. Wallace himself. After assuring him we were not architects, he let us look around. Unfortunately we were not prepared to interview the man whose buildings incite such extremely diverse reactions- but that didn't stop me from asking him several questions anyway. 

The home, completed in 1980, was designed and built by Wallace who is now 87. The expansive home is so large that Wallace spends most of his time in a room that was his late …

Oklahoma Modernism Weekend: Home Tour Highlights

Oklahoma's First Celebration of Mod

Last month the first Oklahoma Modernism Weekend was held at the iconic "Church of Tomorrow" in Oklahoma City. The three-day event attracted a large crowd, who were treated to a swap meet, car show, home tour and vintage fashion show.