The "House of Steel"
You may have noticed the unique home at 128 Genesee St., which is one of the Lustron homes built after WWII. Led by Chicago industrialist and inventor Carl Strandlund, who had worked with constructing prefabricated gas stations, Lustron offered a home that would "defy weather, wear, and time."
The nation needed homes during 1946 for soldiers returning home from the war. The steel was no longer needed by the government and therefore was held in reserve. Mr. Strandlund decided that if gas stations could be made from steel so could houses. At the Lustron Company they went to work to develop a home that could be constructed fast at an affordable price. The one-story house was rectangular with a low pitched gable roof and a small cutout entry porch. The interior also had panels for a living room, kitchen/dinette bathroom, two bedrooms and a utility room. There were many built-in features. The house was heated with radiant heat from the ceiling panels.
The corporation eventually constructed 2,498 Lustron homes between 1948 and 1950. The houses sold for between $8,500 and $9,500. The models were called "Westchester", "Newport", and "Meadowbrook". Dealerships we setup much like a car dealership. This was to make the purchase easy and swift to get homes made available for the increasing demand for housing.
The New York State Lustron Project has documented all of homes constructed in the state, and funded by the Historic Albany Foundation. The goal of this project was to locate, record, research and preserve these homes.
The Lustron house at 128 Genesee St., is now used for a local business.