The Lustron, a cutting-edge porcelain enameled steel home, was expected to rock the post-World War II housing boom.

In 1948, Life magazine hailed it as “the house America has been waiting for.”

Today there are only 22 Lustrons in Minnesota and one of these rare retro relics in Minneapolis is on the market for $350,000.

The standard two-bedroom Lustron, short for luster on steel, is one of six along the 5000 block of Nicollet Avenue.

Architectural historian Larry Millett, author of “Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury,” speculated that the Lustron Corp. might have constructed the cluster as a demonstration of its new technology.

The current owner of the home for sale is a Lustron fan and has lived in the 1949 “Surf Blue” Westchester Deluxe model since 1993. She knew the 1,153-square-foot steel-clad rambler was a more perfect fit for her midcentury modern furnishings than a traditional bungalow, her original choice.

The mint condition prefab home still has the original steel roof, sliding “spaceship doors,” and steel panel walls inside and out.

The owner did some period-appropriate upgrades, including replacing gold shag carpet with a red-dyed Masonite tile floor.

A George Nelson Cigar Bubble light and Starck Luci Fair wall sconce illuminate some of the rooms.

The second bedroom displays a Poul Cadovius Danish teak floating wall unit. The concrete patio in the backyard adds more lounging and entertaining space.

Lustrons are shimmering examples of a midcentury modern design innovation and “they represent a period of architectural history,” said Karen Rue, the Edina Realty listing agent and board member of Docomomo, a modernist preservation organization.

“It’s a condo alternative with 1,100 square feet of space-conscious modern living,”

But only one bathroom.


Karen Rue, 612-916-1110 and Jessica Buelow, 612-327-3667 of Edina Realty have the listing.