stran steel

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outside in
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: chicago

stran steel

Post by outside in »

If Lustron is a viable topic, then so is the Stran Steel house, built for the Century of Progress Exhibition (World's Fair) of 1933. The House was moved to Wilmette, IL after the fair, and sat undisturbed until 2018, when a developer bought the house and planned to demolish and subdivide the property. Landmarks Illinois has been working with the developer, and the house has been disassembled and put inside a shipping container. If anyone has the interest in rebuilding this wonderful house, contact LPCI at 312.922.1742 or contact me directly through this chat room.


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outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

I should add that it was made entirely of steel, and the exterior panels are porcelain coated iron which has held up well over time.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I guess it was a combination of poorly finished panels and salty sea water that caused the Walker roof panels to rust out so fast?

DRN
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Post by DRN »

A house truly worthy of preservation! It has an Art Deco air about it.

The Lustron home grew out of Lustron president Carl Strandlund's work with Chicago Vitreous Enamel Corporation, selling panels for gas stations, storefronts, appliance cabinets, and White Tower/White Castle hamburger stands. This linked article has a link to the 1933 Stran-Steel house brochure in which the house is noted as being developed by the Stran-Steel Company, Carl A. Strand, President; affiliated with Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company. I found it hard to believe that Carl A. Strand (1883-1970) was not a shortened or Anglicized version of Strandlund (1899-1974), but indeed they were two people with similar names and similar pursuits.

article:
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article ... fair-model

brochure:
https://www.scribd.com/document/3670075 ... from_embed


The baked on porcelain enamel finish on the Lustrons and the Stran-Steel house are far superior to the Walker house first roof, which I believe was terne coated steel? The porcelain enamel finish is scratch resistant and tends to fail when the metal is sharply creased or breached following baking...ie; sharp blows or drilling or nailing.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

As I recall, the manufacturer of the Walker House roof panels was in the utility business, manufacturing washers and driers, and such. He had hoped to expand his market with the roof panels.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

DRN wrote: "The porcelain enamel finish is scratch resistant and tends to fail when the metal is sharply creased or breached following baking...ie; sharp blows or drilling or nailing."

The ideal procedure would be for all fastening holes or slots, and any forming of edges, etc, be accomplished before enameling. But that would seem to go without saying.

I believe we were told, by someone who must have been there, that Mr Wright was offered three different shades of green to the enamel for the Walker roof panels
---and his response was to ask for all three, presumably in equal portions. Some photos, in black and white unfortunately, seem to show these variations . . .


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Tom
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Post by Tom »

mmm, never considered the Walker roof panels before

pmahoney
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Enameled panels

Post by pmahoney »

One of the original enameled panels survives as a furnishing in Wright's / Aaron Green's San Francisco office (now disassembled). I believe the surviving panel was there as a submittal for approval.

JimM
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Post by JimM »

How nice to see an early photo without that "sculpture" center stage within the prow! The discreet placement of the large shell (shell-like?) is how it should be done.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

JimM wrote:How nice to see an early photo without that "sculpture" center stage within the prow! The discreet placement of the large shell (shell-like?) is how it should be done.
Ha! That sculpture has always bothered me and I've wondered about it.
Agree whole heartedly

wjsaia
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Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:53 pm

Re: Enameled panels

Post by wjsaia »

pmahoney wrote:One of the original enameled panels survives as a furnishing in Wright's / Aaron Green's San Francisco office (now disassembled). I believe the surviving panel was there as a submittal for approval.
Yes, there was a piece of a fascia panel in the office, with the dimpled pattern along the edge. Look for some more discussion on these enameled steel roofing panels in two other threads I just put up . . .

WJS

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

While I have to agree that the sculpture at Walker is unfortunate in both quality and location, the idea of a smooth stone piece of art set against rough stone walls works. Guerin, second owner of Gillen, installed a Henry Moore sculpture on his lawn, set against the backdrop of the rough stone walls. Very handsome. Brancusi would work as well.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Nice point.

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