501 N. Charter St.

c. 1948

Lustron House

(House has been demolished)

This house features the Lustron style; rectangular shape, one story, with square, interlocking porcelain enameled steel panel walls, and gable metal roof.  A modern shed roof metal awning covers most of the front facade and is supported by  by three thin metal posts.  Lustron houses were a short-lived prefabricated housing phenomenon developed by Chicago businessman Carl Strandlund to accommodate the housing shortage caused by soldiers returning from World War II.  While working with the Chicago Vitreous - Enamel Company, whose porcelain-enameled steel wall panels were used as exterior siding on Standard Oil of Indiana's service stations, Strandlund envisioned producing prefabricated houses using the same material.  Inspired by the Chicago Vitreous-Enamel Company's product trade name Lusterlite, Strandlund called his product Lustron.  Using government loans, Strandlund started the Lustron Corporation with facilities located in a converted fighter plane manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio.  Unfortunately for Strandlund, rather than costing $7,000, which was affordable for middle-class buyers at the time, the Lustron Corporation built only about 2,500 homes from 1947 - 1951.  Monticello has one other Lustron home located on Hamilton Street near the high school.

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