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Closter's historic Lustron House to become open to the public in December

The Record, Bergen County logo The Record, Bergen County 11/19/2018 North Jersey Record
a sign in front of a house © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

CLOSTER — After nearly 3 years of restoration, the historic Harold Hess Lustron House will be open for public viewing starting in December.

The Closter Historic Society will have the house open for public viewings on every second Saturday of every month, according to Irene Stella, the society's president.

"We just want to make sure it's ready. Once it is, we plan on holding various kinds of events here," said Stella.

Over the course of the past few months, the Borough Council and historic society had been working to repair the heat in the house, in preparation for the winter weather. 

Mayor John Glidden has previously said that the efforts to save this house and further restore it are "worthwhile" in order to save the history of the house.

Lustron homes were created in the 1950s by inventor Carl Strandlund, who aimed to create inexpensive housing for World War II veterans amid a nationwide shortage. They were made primarily with steel and porcelain-coated steel exterior panels at a low cost with quick production. 

Only two of these types of houses remain in Bergen County, with one more in Alpine. Approximately 1,500 are left in the entire country. 

The house has come a long way since it was acquired by the borough in 2015, when it made a deal with a developer who wanted to purchase a neighboring property. 

At the time, the house formerly belonging to WWII veteran Harold Hess was inhabited only by a family of raccoons that did damage to the interior of the house while it was left untouched.

The house also had large amounts of rust, given that it is made mostly out of steel panels. The borough then appointed a volunteer caretaker for the house, Michael Pisano, who has been following a guide for the house's restoration. 

MORE: Preservation plan suggests Lustron House in Closter become a museum

VETERAN'S DAY: North Jersey towns recognize hometown veterans

New York-based Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Preservation LLP was awarded a contract for architectural historian services by the Borough Council in May of 2017, which the borough payed for using a $25,000 grant from the state Historic Preservation Office. The company then made a guide to assist in the restoration of the house.

a house with trees in the front yard: The Harold Hess Lustron Home, on Durie avenue in Closter, will be restored and opened to the public in the near future. Photographed on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com The Harold Hess Lustron Home, on Durie avenue in Closter, will be restored and opened to the public in the near future. Photographed on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.

Stella explained that the house will hopefully be used as a meeting space for groups who may not be able to acquire space in other municipal buildings. 

"We want this to be a place where people of all ages can enjoy it," Stella said. 

This article originally appeared on North Jersey Record: Closter's historic Lustron House to become open to the public in December

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