Celebrating Kansas by Car – Lustron Home in Great Bend
By Stephanie Bergmann, independent living sales and marketing director
For a blast from the past, our family recently drove to Great Bend to see a Lustron home — a prefab, all-metal house built by the Lustron Corporation after World War II. Lustron stands for “luster on steel.” The enamel metal homes sold for $8,000¬ – $10,000 and came in five colors. We loved the greenish-blue refrigerator and retro design, which, of course, was considered sleek and stylish at the time!
The Lustron house we visited is on display at the Barton County Historical Museum. A local dealer sold the houses back in 1949. A truck delivered the parts that were assembled on-site on a concrete foundation with no basement. Within a few days, voilà — a family had a new home!
Valued for their low maintenance costs and durability, Lustron homes have built-in cabinets and pocket doors that squeak like an old shed when opened. You can also imagine the noise when heavy rain hits the roof. A hailstorm could be deafening!
Unfortunately, the Lustron Corporation went bankrupt after only a few years, but about 30 of the homes still stand in Kansas, and many of them are currently occupied. You can tour the one in Great Bend, and see much more at the museum, for just $4 and a two-hour drive from Wichita.