Thursday, October 13, 2011


As an answer and solution to the post World War II housing shortage caused by those who served returning, getting married and starting families, Chicago based entrepreneur Carl Strandlund started Strandlund’s Lustron Corporation. The plant was leased space in an former Navy airplane plant in Columbus, Ohio.

The Lustron Home was a prefabricated house built on the assembly line at the plant in Columbus, shipped to the site and erected on the foundation. The homes averaged 1,000 square feet in size, had two-bedrooms, one-bath,and had an efficient 31-by-35 foot floor plan and space-saving built-ins in every room that was deemed a critical success. All interior and exterior surfaces were porcelain-enameled metal, from the roof, gutters and down drains to the master bedroom’s built-in vanity.

Between 1946 and 1948, Lustron received orders for 20,000 homes through its nationwide dealership network The dealers included but were not limited to Sears and Roebuck. At a price averaging $55,00 to 8,500, not including land a new home owner could purchase their home directly from the Sears catalog for between $10,000 to $12,000 total. Only 2,498 of those orders were filled before Lustron Corporation declared bankruptcy in 1950.

The prefabricated housing industry is not a new concept. It dates back earlier than the late 1940's. The Lustron Home was another style in this industry. Despite Lustron's failure to stay in business after a short time some of the practices used by Lustron are no doubt still used today in the manufacturing of prefabricated homes.

There are several Lustron Homes found today all over the United States. Though these homes were touted as being almost maintenance free changes have been made to some of them. Perhaps because of deterioration or perhaps because the owner of one wanted a new look to the home. Some of the changes are siding and new roof which either covered up or replaced the original. Some of the houses also had an after market garage added that constructed of the same enameled steel panels the houses were built from.

Sioux City, Iowa has 3 Lustron Homes. All 3 have been modified. 2 Have either aluminum or vinyl siding and a garage added, similar to what is found on any other property that has a stick built home and one has a shingled roof.

For more info:
What is a Lustron?
Things you want to know about the Lustron Home
Iowa Lustrons

3300 Dearborn Sioux City, Iowa

3325 Nebraska Street

100 Midvale Avenue