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Rare Lustron Home Razed by Developer on a Saturday

May 27, 2005 History/Preservation, Politics/Policy 19 Comments


In December 2004 I posted the picture at right of a Lustron House endanger of being razed for what was a rather boring in-fill development. While the Lustron house is not the most urban of houses they are also quite rare and worth saving.

Today I learned we have one less Lustron house in the City of St. Louis. It wasn’t disassembled as others have done when it was in the way of “progress.” Nope, it was unceremoniously razed.


This picture and the following were taken by Angie Boesch of the Lustron Locator website on this past Sunday.

One person concerned about the future of the Lustron house went by a noon on Saturday and the building was still standing. At 8pm that evening it was demolished.

I can understand a developer wanting to use a site for a different purpose. What I can’t understand is not saving the house by having it disassembled and moved. They came to the site as individual parts and they could leave a site in the same manner. Leaving as twisted metal just is not right.


Sad. These neat houses deserve a better fate.

Residents of the 24th Ward upset over the alderman have started a recall effort. This project and others with the same developers are part of the reasons for the recall effort.

Click here to read a story about alderman Bauer and a picture with him and the developers responsible for razing the Lustron.

I’m all for development and keeping things moving forward but not at the expense of history. We need political leaders and developers that have respect for our built environment.

– Steve


Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. Zerrat says:

    Steve for Mayor!

  2. Tim says:

    What street is this on? I live in the 24th ward yet I can not pinpoint this location by the photo alone.

    About the recall, someone came to my residence to ask me to sign it. The alderman has been kind to me in my few encounters but I don’t know him enough to have a very strong opinion about him. Either way, I didn’t sign it because I do not think recalls are healthy for democracy. The more time a politician has to spend campaigning, the less time he can serve the public. I say wait for the next election.

    Ald. Baur does have some enemies in the ward, including Patricia Verde who recently ran republican for the state house and has argued for lower density in Dogtown. Last I checked, there’s plenty of low density in the outlying suburbs so perhaps she should consider a move. Low density is not why people move to the City.

    [REPLY – The house was located at Forest & Glades. The link in the very first sentence above will give you more info.

    All aldermen do things for residents, that is not a reason to keep electing them. I know many good people that think we need lower density in the city – they are wrong. We need much greater density. We also need aldermen that can bring density without destroying history. Density can come in a suburban model (front garages, vinyl siding) and in an urban model (detached rear garages, brick, corner storefronts, etc.. – Steve]

  3. Sad news, Steve. Thanks for sharing.

    Bauer himself is an advocate of lower density. His support of the Drury Inn and QuikTrip projects show him to be interested in something other than urbanism for his ward.

  4. Ben Jones says:

    Where’s the respect? I wouldn’t want to live in a Lustron home myself, but what a fantastic piece of history to preserve, with relative ease. With enough notice and forsight the developers might have Tom Sawyered the demolition, getting someone to pay them to dismantle the building. It could have been shipped up to a reservation for a durable community asset, sturdier than a modular home, or reassembled at the City Museum. But to simply tear it down, as if it’s a ubiquitous bungalow, is wrong. I won’t go into the obvious arguments about why we should be salvaging at least the materials from demolitions (imagine if this were a poorer country, and consider ways we can be more prosperous, and reduce the risk of becoming a poor society, and reusing materials immediately comes to mind), but this is regretable to a higher degree, especially considering that these homes can be disassembled.

  5. Frank says:

    ‘These neat houses deserve a better fate? ‘ Hey man, I knew the guy who lived in that ‘neat’ house and let me tell ya, with the mold and mildew I can confirm that he didn’t think it was so neat. I spoke to the developers (have you seen the homes going up there now – totally blows away anything I’ve seen) over there and they mentioned the city asked them to try and salvage the home by donating it and nobody wanted it due to rust and the condition it was in. It’s too bad this city has not caught on to change and continues to just bitch and moan. Perhaps you all should find a Lustrom home and live in it!

    [REPLY – A number of Lustron fans can easily be found on the internet. To my knowledge none were contact by the developer. One is based here and includes a for sale/dismantle list. If you’ve got documentation that the building was marketed on a Lustron list I’ll happily post as much.

    Mold & mildew huh? I’d venture to think that porcelean steel is not exactly the most ideal surface for growing mold. But, cleaning and good HVAC should solve any issues with mold. Still no reason why it shouldn’t have been dismantled for use by someone else.

    Yeah, too bad the city hasn’t caught on to change. A change of pace would be for the city to value architecture and what it has before throwing it in a land fill.

    We do have some change – recalling Bauer and hopefully electing an Alderman that will guide the ward through responsible change that balances developers profits against this desires of the community. – SLP]

  6. Angie Boesch says:

    In response to Frank’s note, I personally did contact the developer as soon as Fred Wessel’s made it known to us that this Lustron was developer owner. We (a local group of Lustron homeowners) volunteered our personal labor and recruitment to dismantle, remove and store the structure. Repeated follow-ups to the developer on the status, deadline for removal etc. were met with vague indescript responses. This home, like many local Lustrons was not officially on any historic registry, but is clearly listed on my website as a Lustron property and was also documented in “The Lustron Home” published in 2002, written by Tom Fetters.

    Side note: the day after your post (October 18, 2005), the Lustron at 540 Ridge in Webster Groves also met the same fate. It was in impeccible condition inside and out.

  7. linda says:

    So I am on the internet this monday morning hoping I can locate a simple bracket for above the bathroom door and I see this pile of twisted steel instead. And whats with the mold……..give me a break.

  8. imihaiu says:

    Most people complain about the fact that we don't have enough historical buildings, and look what we're doing. Maybe we should all consider purchasing Mobile homes for a change and stop destroying our environment.

    • Rittertravis says:

      I live in a Lustron home and thay are very cozy to say the least and i love it. They are very safe and keep temperature very well

  9. Mold Removal says:

    i think there are more photo of the blue, metal Lustron home from gray, tan, and yellow, the common colors, and green and pink, the rare colors. …

  10. The average person on the street might have no-inkling how truly rare these houses are. … Perhaps they are proud owners of their Lustron home!

  11. Perhaps they are proud owners of their Lustron home, perhaps they don't … Find out what will replace it. potential replacement development

  12. Good post overall. Enjoyed reading it.

  13. I just couldnt leave your site before telling you that we really enjoyed the functional information you offering to your visitors… Will be back soon to check up on new posts

  14. Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated websites Ive come across in some time!

  15. Rittertravis says:

    I live in a Lustron home and thay are very cozy to say the least and i love it. They are very safe and keep temperature very well

  16. Marycar says:

    There is one not registered on any lists wasting away abandoned in-between junked cars and car carriers off of Woodmont Dr. in Tuscumbia, AL.   It was purchased by the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a rectory, when the church property was sold, it was moved to it’s current location. 

  17. Marycar says:

    There is one not registered on any lists wasting away abandoned in-between junked cars and car carriers off of Woodmont Dr. in Tuscumbia, AL.   It was purchased by the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a rectory, when the church property was sold, it was moved to it’s current location. 


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