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Historic Lustron Home Recently Sold in Des Plaines

Unusual steel home on Lincoln Avenue sold for $105,000.

A home on Lincoln Avenue, sold within the last week, is one of Des Plaines' more unusual dwellings.

The home is a Lustron, one of seven in Des Plaines. Introduced in 1947, the Lustron was one of the most popular and unique premanufactured houses in the U.S.

The Chicago Vitreous Enamel Corporation created the Lustron Home. Because of post-war shortages, the government ordered all materials to go to the housing effort. Unable to make its panels for gas stations and commercial remodeling, the Lustron was created to keep the company in business.

Unlike most houses, the Lustron contains almost no wood or nails. It is on a steel frame, with porcelain enameled steel exterior wall panels that never need painting. Windows were aluminum-framed. Instead of drywall, enameled steel wall panels were mounted on steel studs. Even the roof and kitchen cabinets were steel.

While the neighbors got out their scrapers and paintbrushes, the Lustron would need only a gentle sponge bath. The modern homes had options like radiant ceiling panels for heat, built-in bookcases, and even a combination clothes washer and dishwasher — though this proved unreliable.

Ultimately, about 2,600 Lustrons were produced across the U.S., with the biggest concentration, not including military bases, was in Lombard with 36.

The pink house at 1763 E. Lincoln is the Westchester Deluxe 2 bedroom, the most popular model, and appears to be mostly unaltered except for a newer kitchen.

The other Lustrons in Des Plaines are located at:

382 Woodbridge St.
2040 Laura Lane
1001 Webster Lane
1014 Webster Lane
352 E. Washington St.
728 W. Oakton St.

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