Restoring "God's Businessman"

 
P.S. Blog

Photos courtesy of The Steel House Revival

On Tuesday afternoon, September 5th, the Steel House Revival project reached another milestone, as workers with the Hot Scotsmen Fine Art Foundry removed the R.G. LeTourneau statue from the spot in Glen Oak Park where it has stood since dedicated in 1988. The statue will now be moved to the Hot Scotsmen facility on Pioneer Parkway, where it will be restored.

Through an agreement with the Peoria Park District, the LeTourneau statue will be moved to Wheels O’ Time Museum, where one of LeTourneau’s unique steel houses will soon become an exhibit.

Moving the LeTourneau statue

 

Below, the statue before refurbishing:

R.G. LeTourneau statue

The Steel House Revival is a collaborative project led by the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation, Peoria Historical Society and Wheels O’ Time.

LeTourneau was an inventor and businessman who pioneered the development of pre-fabricated, steel-welded homes in the 1930s. Though his plan for an entire community of such homes was thwarted by the onset of World War II, several were sold and remain in use today.

For many years, the steel house being renovated sat on what was once LeTourneau property and is now Komatsu America Corporation, which donated it to the effort.

George Young & Sons have completed their work on the steel house, as shown below. Its appearance is now a primer gray color.

 

Another view of the house, after the welders got done repairing the rust and the entire outside was given a second coat of primer paint:

 

According to Mark Johnson, one of the project’s leaders: “Reportedly, earthmoving equipment has started to appear at the Wheels O’Time Museum, so the dirt should be starting to fly in the near future."


Learn more about this exciting project at steelhouserevival.com.

Learn more about “R.G. LeTourneau: God’s Businessman” by Norman V. Kelly.

So what's it like to live in one of LeTourneau's steel houses? Find out in "Living in a Carefree Home" by Terry Bibo.

 

 

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