A charming cottage in New Orleans? It’s not exactly breaking news in the Big Easy.
But what if we told you about a cottage constructed from enamel-coated steel? Now, that’s a bit more unusual. We recently spotted an indestructible Lustron home on the market here for $435,000.
The brainchild of Chicago industrialist Carl Strandlund, founder of Lustron Corp., the steel dwellings were a short-lived housing concept after World War II. Strandlund’s goal was to manufacture low-maintenance, affordable homes for returning GIs facing a housing shortage.
The innovative and futuristic concept required these homes to be built off-site. An Ohio factory produced about 3,000 parts per home, including the bathtub, built-in cabinets, and vanities. The exterior is a steel frame, and the roof and walls are enameled steel panels.
Prefab pieces were then loaded onto a truck and delivered to the building site, where they took mere weeks to construct.
Unable to contain costs and facing a corruption scandal, the company went out of business by 1950, with only about 2,500 Lustron homes built around the country. Only a handful of these structures exist in New Orleans.
Lustron homes were built to last, and last they have. And thanks to their typically small size, they tend to be fairly low-cost and make a great rental, starter home, or retirement nest.
The homes were billed as maintenance-free, and can be power-washed on the outside and wiped down inside. Also, they don’t need a paint job. If you’re a fan of 1950s Americana, this unusual abode is just for you.
Just 1,520 square feet, this Lustron in New Orleans has two beds and 1.5 baths. The exterior color is described as Surf Blue. The model is known as the popular Westchester Deluxe.
Originally a one-bath home, it was later expanded to include a den with a half-bath, the listing agent Becky Weber notes. The sellers have lived in the home for over three decades and are only the second owners. Although small in size, the dwelling features some outdoor space, including a back patio and covered front porch.
Located in the popular Lake Vista subdivision, the cute cottage faces a walking path running between the streets and is in walking distance to the Pontchartrain lakefront.
The home’s affordability could be a bonus for someone younger who is “looking to get into the neighborhood,” says Weber, noting that the current asking price is close to the value of the lot itself.
“It’s great for someone that’s looking for something that’s small, quaint, energy-efficient, and has a historic value,” she says.
The eventual home buyer should budget in some renovations. The interiors look like they haven’t been touched for decades, and might need an update. Or the buyer could simply move in and relish the retro look of the one-time home of the future.
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