The Luster Mansion, a fading reminder of the wealthy black upper-class that was once a part of Deep Deuce's glory days, is set to be put up for sale.
The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the property at 300 NE 3 includes an adjoining single-story home and a red, wood-frame building that was home to one of the greatest forgotten business success stories of Oklahoma City's black community when it was hemmed in by the era's notorious Jim Crow laws.
The home was built in 1926 by S.D. Lyons, who established the East India toiletries company previous to his arrival in Oklahoma in 1889. In 1909, Lyons moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City and grew his company in the red building into an operation with sales both nationally and internationally.
Products including Sun-Ray Face Bleach, "pressing oil" for hair, face powder and perfumes made Lyons a wealthy man. His real estate holdings were once among the most prominent in the city's black community.
Lyons' stepson, Melvin Luster, continued to maintain the family home and own the two adjoining properties as Deep Deuce went into a steep decline in the 1980s. After his death, the estate passed on to his sons. Melvin Luster's second son, Frank Melvin Luster, maintained ownership until his death in 2015.
Now, after spurning unsolicited purchase offers for the past 20 years, the family is ready to sell and has made arrangements to have all three properties listed by broker Tim Rasmussen.
The 3,200-square-foot home's Italian-styled arches and red-tiled roof always stood out in the neighborhood, but survived high crime and land acquisition by Urban Renewal in the 1970s, followed by construction of Interstate 235 a block east.
When the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places, the design of the mansion was defined as “modified Italianate” that included carved wrought-iron curtain rods, beveled glass panes in the dining room door, two ceramic-tiled fireplace mantles and cut-glass doorknobs.
The roof and upstairs ceiling will need extensive repairs. The mansion has a basement with a room that was once the maid's quarters. The smaller home to the east also has a basement.
For more information contact:
Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.