The Lustron Homes

Aurora has seven all-steel Lustron houses (named for "luster on steel"). The idea for a pre-fabricated steel house was developed in 1949 by Carl Strandlund, an industrial engineer, in response to a need for G.I. housing after WWII when housing was in short supply. They were produced on an assembly line and made of two-foot square panels of porcelain enamel on steel for both the exterior and interior walls. Even the roof shingles, door jambs, corners and gables were made of porcelain steel. Because of this, the homes are practically maintenance free. Other features include many built-in steel cabinets, shelves, closets and dressers.

Only 3,000 were manufactured in the United States before the government-backed loans to finance the company were called. A woman who owned her Lustron house on Rosedale for 50 years said that she was able to travel all over the world because her only maintenance expense in that time was a new furnace. Another woman said that when she and her husband went through the model house and he was crazy about it. He liked the idea that it was low maintenance and it was nicely decorated. She was used to the apartments in Chicago where the halls were long and dark with doors on both sides.

The apartments didn't seem like a home, but the Lustron model was so open and nice, they both loved it. The agents for those homes were in the offices where she worked in Chicago. The name was L. J. Sheridan and Company located at 175 W Jackson. She went to see them. They had 6 models all together, and they decided on one and built it in Aurora on Galena Boulevard for $90.