Prefab Postwar Steel House to be Disassembled

JournalSentinel reports from Milwaukee that a Lustron house, made of porcelain-covered steel panels, is not considered historic and may be torn down. The company made about 2,600 of these prefabricated homes from 1948 to 1950 for returning GIs following World War II before going bankrupt. Innovative for its use of technology, low maintenance, and would- be mass production, the houses were available in four colors and constructed with more than 3,000 parts. The Lustron website estimates there are 1,500 of the houses that remain. The house in question has not been occupied for two years, and because of the extensive rust would be cost prohibitive to restore. The Historic Preservation Commission voted 3-2 to allow the owners to tear it down, sell the panels, and build a new three-bedroom house. Paul Jakubovich, the city’s historic preservation officer, says, “ These porcelain panels are very difficult to replace because that enamel on steel is just not done anymore.”

(Photo credit: JournalSentinel/Rick Stone)



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