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Kathy Kajinami
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Smith Center Explorations
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Love Those Lustrons

Address: 214-216 Park Street
Smith Center, KS 66967

About this Exploration:

Two Lustron homes(middle picture is to show how it looks in the winter) sitting side by side. 

These two-bedroom Westchester Deluxe Lustron dwellings are both listed on the National Historic Register.   These steel homes were the brainchild of Carl Strandlund a Chicago Engineer. The homes have a Yellow Gold/Desert Tan walls with white trim and a dark green roof.  The siding panels are porcelain.  The interior has Dove Gray panels with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms which are yellow.

The home at 216 Park is called the Martyn House. James and Grace Martyn were the original owners of this home in Smith Center.  James served as a navy pilot in World War II.  He returned home in 1943 and married wife Grace Valentine.  In 1947 the Martyns moved to Smith Center where Mr. Martyn taught music and voice at the Smith Center High School.  With their second child on the way the Martyns were eager to build a house by 1949.  Their friend Lyman Attwood, the local Lustron dealer encouraged them to consider a new, modern Lustron.  They agreed and had the home built by Attwood Implement Co. for $9,500.  They agreed to let Attwood use their new house as a show house during the summer of 1949 and in return the Attwoods installed venetian blinds for the Martyns.

The home at 214 Park is called the Grimes House. Robert Grimes served in the United States Air Force during World War II.  He returned home in 1945 to marry his wife Frances and to finish his Master's degree on the G I Bill at Kansas State University.  The couple moved to Smith Center in 1946 where Robert taught English and journalism at the local high school.  After 3 years the were eager to build.  They learned of the Lustrons through an ad in the local paper and in conversations with their friends James and Grace Martyns.  They were attracted by the modern conveniences and affordable price. They contracted Attwood Implement Co of Smith Center to build their home.

These two families fit the profile of the typical buyer to whom Stradlund marketed the Lustron house.  Solidly middle-class with a growing baby boom family.

contact info
City of Smith Center
119 West Court
Smith Center, KS 66967
Phone: (785) 282-3249
Fax: (785) 282-6703
Smith Center Economic Development
219 S. Main
Smith Center, KS 66967
Phone: 785.282.6517
Fax: 785.686.4116
Smith Center Chamber of Commerce
219 S. Main
Smith Center, KS 66967
Phone: 785.282.3895
Fax: 785.686.4116
Kansas Sampler Foundation   Kansas Department of Commerce - Travel Kansas   Get Rural Kansas