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.
Thanks for subscribing! Expect a newsletter with the latest out-of-the ordinary designs and innovation soon.