109 Stephens Street
This is the best-preserved of three Lustron houses built in Chapel Hill. The Lustron house was a manufactured dwelling designed by industrialist Carl Strandlund in response to one of the nation’s worst housing shortages at the end of World War II. The components of the all-steel prefabricated house, designed for economy, efficiency, and easy cleaning, were manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, and delivered on tractor-trailer trucks to the site, where they were assembled. This example is apparently a two-bedroom model, containing 1,080 square feet. It had a base price of $7,000. The house is built with twenty-foot wall sections of enameled steel in two-by-two-foot panels, with metal tile roofs. The Lustron plant closed in 1950 after having produced some three thousand houses.
Sources: Gatza, Survey file; Fetters, The Lustron Home.
SOURCE: M. Ruth Little. M. Ruth Little, The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1795-1975 (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2006), 216.