For Sale: 1 Rare Retro-Futuristic, Post-WWII Prefab Home

Dornob does not usually list houses that you can actually buy per say, but for this offbeat piece of prefabricated history (for sale by owner Steven Sparks) an exception just had to be made. ?The Lustron was a short-lived phenomena due to increasing material costs, and of the tens of thousands produced only a few thousand remain today (and even fewer are in relatively original condition, like the MOMA display example above).

Though the Lustron was not the first all-prefab modern housing project of its kind (see also: Dymaxion houses and the Leisurama development), it was uniquely created to be quickly built on site (360 man hours or less) and assembled entirely from kits that came delivered on a single corporate truck.

Metal pocket doors and interior wall panels were designed for easy cleaning – a hallmark of the health-conscious Modern Movement – and space-saving strategies including a combination washer/dryer/sink unit that was unique to these homes. One- two- and three-bedroom units were all available, as well as a variety of different color options for the exterior of the houses so they would at least be somewhat distinguished from one another. A few signature design moves (like a zig-zag metal downspout) also set the Lustron apart from similar-looking one-story homes of the times.

While some remain (assembled or otherwise) in largely original condition, “many have been modified with additions, remodeled kitchens, vinyl windows, composite roofs, new heating systems, sheet rock interior walls, painted exteriors, and siding” (Wikipedia). So, want your own Lustron? Dornob reader Steve Sparks is selling his for under 100K if you are looking to pick up (and move) a modular piece of prefabrication history. It might not be the height of modern design, but was one of the original (and most-produced) prefabs to hit the market and definitely worth preserving.

Moving from LA to Kansas for work, Steve first moved into a Greek Revival-style schoolhouse (which itself sounds like quite a gem) and then bought his Lustron, one of six in the area and the only resident-owned one left. ?Now his is relocating to NY and hoping to find someone who either wants to move in or simply move the whole structure entirely (which it was designed to do). Putting it on an historic properties list would help save it, but could also cause annoyance to the neighbors … ?so the best-case scenario would be someone adopting it in place or giving it a new home, so to speak. Regardless, he has a great little website up you should check out if interested in the sale or if you simply want to see and learn more about the Lustron. And if you feel like taking a road trip, he says he will give you a tour to boot!

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