A Look Inside Rare Lustron Home for Sale in Oak Park

A Look Inside Rare Lustron Home for Sale in Oak Park

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 11, 2018)

Oak Park, MI –  A rare 1950-built Lustron Home is on the market in Oak Park, with an asking price of $120,000 for the 1,100 sq foot vintage living experience.  Made of sheets of  porcelain-coated steel with built in steel walls and fixtures, the Lustron has often been described as a “time machine.”

There were only about 2,498 Lustron Homes manufactured, and only about 2,000 remain throughout the United States.  Five of them sit in a row on Oneida Street, and the one for sale is at 23420 Oneida, listed by ReMax agent Kelly O’Meara of Re/MAX Eclipse.

Ronald King grew up in the two bedroom pre-fab bungalow. Joseph and Clementine King, Ronald’s parents, loved the simple home.  They even appeared in an advertisement for Lustron in 1950 before the company went bankrupt. And they were in several articles over the years about the historic house and neighborhood.

In all there would be six children living in those metal walls which were easy to keep clean and never needed painting.

“My dad got out of the service and got a good home loan at 2% so he moved here,” King said.  Lustron Homes were designed to be the most efficient way to build and maintain a home possible.  They came in a boxcar with about 3,300 pieces that could be assembled into a house in about two weeks.  Inside the house, the walls and ceilings are gray.  The outside is “Maize Yellow.”

“When they moved in there wasn’t even a road built yet, just these five slabs. The house at the end was the model, and my dad bought the first one.  We had empty slabs on each side for a while where we’d play.”

The home was originally built with an oil burning heat system that many owners, including the Kings, swapped out for electric in later years.

The bathroom of the home was updated from the vintage fixings to include a washer and dryer and a whirlpool bath tub.  In the kitchen the dual dish and laundry washer unit was replaced with a Montgomery ward sink of the same era. The Master Bedroom still has a mirror-topped vanity amidst a wall of metal closets.  The doors to the bedrooms are recessed and panels of metal can be removed to access pipes in critical areas.

Helping his dad change the fuses, which were also hidden behind a then-mysterious panel, sparked Ronald’s curiosity for electricity, and he grew to be an electrician.  He’s also the one who did many of the updates in the home, including installing ceiling fans and running electrical so a window air conditioner could have it’s own outlet.

Inside and out there are only a few imperfections in the 68 year old enamel.

One spot is where a sister dinged a panel with the car.

And in the corner of the porcelain at the edge of the dining room and living room, there is a sliver of imperfection. That’s where Ronald, at about six years old, got out of his little bed in the utility room and ran to the bathroom, but didn’t quite clear the corner. His front tooth lost an even bigger chip than the porcelain on the wall did.

Ronald’s mother Clementine lived in the home until she passed away at the age of 99 in October.  He’s hoping the home can make someone else just as happy as it make his family.  “It’s a good house,” he said.

He’s even got the original sales materials, and hand-drawn diagrams that detail all the upgrades over the years.

In addition to the five on Oneidea Street, there is only one other Luston home in the area that King knows about, which is in Detroit and had been covered over with a brick facade. Others on the block in Oak Park are white, re-painted red, and some with facades added over the panels.

For more information on the home, contact Kelly O’Meara.



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