Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dianne Garrett: Whitehall Historical Society and Lustron Home Project.

Thanks again! Steve McLoughlin, Secretary, The Whitehall Historical Society.

In June, 2005 the Whitehall Historical Society broke ground to begin re-assembling an historic Lustron Home inside Whitehall Community Park. On March 14 they will share it with the community for a sneak preview of the fruits of their labor for the past four years. Visitors will see the basic shell and garage, with the entire completed project at a later date.

Pictured in the back left to right:
Steve McLoughlin, Secretary
Ward Sager, Trustee
Jamie Grube, Former Trustee

Pictured in the front left to right:
Richard Janusz, Treasurer
Bob Martin, Trustee
Lenora Miller, President
Former Mayor Lynn Ochsendorf
Norma Ryan, Trustee

The WHS will be hosting the Ohio Historical Society Regional Meeting all day, and tours will be offered 10-4. WHS secretary, Steve McLoughlin, visited WCRX on March 4 to offer a little history about Lustron, as well as detailing the acquisition of the home, which will become the headquarters for the organization.

Volunteers erecting wall frames of the Lustron.

The steel and porcelain enamel homes were the brainchild of Chicago businessman, Carl Strandlund in hopes of helping the housing problem in the late 1940's when troops were returning from World War II. New home construction had screeched to a halt. The houses were pre-fabricated, and consist of over 3,000 pieces and parts.

Trustee Ward Sager attaches frame sections.

They were similar to the original White Castle restaurants. Why did the local society become so interested in preserving this particular piece of history? They were manufactured by Lustron at the former Curtis-Wright Aviation plant on 5th Avenue, The factory location was just outside of Whitehall, and many Whitehall and Bexley residents were employees.

Re-assembling a Lustron required hundreds of man hours and much man power for volunteers.

Production began in 1947, and ceased in 1950 when the government called in a loan, which forced the closing of the Lustron company.

Approximately 2,498 were produced and the generally accepted estimate of those remaining is between 1,800 and 2,200. Nearly 100% of those no longer standing were demolished to make way for other uses of the land; Only a handful have ever been destroyed by wind, flood and other hazards, and even those were nearly salvagable.

The Whitehall Lustron is blue, and was donated by its former owners in London, Ohio. The garage was on property near Bexley on Gould, owned by a former Lustron executive.

The Whitehall Historical Society invites you to come see their labor of love, and learn more Lustron history during the open house 10-4.

A volunteer work crew takes a break to pose for a photo. Left to right, Bob Eudy, Jack Garrett, Leo Knoblauch and Ward Sager.


Bexley Public Radio Foundation broadcasting as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Bexley Public Radio Foundation is exempt from federal taxes under IRC Section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible from federal income taxes for individuals who itemize. Checks may identify the payee as Bexley Public Radio Foundation or WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM.

Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text and photographs are copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Dianne Garrett.

1 comment:

Norma said...

My grandparents' Lustron looked just like this. It's located in Mt. Morris, IL along with about 15 other Lustrons, a few in original condition, and some badly remodeled.