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Audio report: Unique 1950s home on the auction block

The state’s only aluminum home  — a 1957 mid-century built by Charles Goodman for the Alcoa Aluminum Company — is being auctioned off by Sky | Southeby this weekend. (Audio and slide show.)

A special opportunity for local preservationists has been arranged to tour Minnesota’s only Alcoa Carefree house.  Built in 1957, the house was designed by Charles Goodman for the Alcoa Aluminum Co. and features Carefree aluminum walls for the exterior roof, walls, doors and windows.

After World War II, the Aluminum Co. of America — now known as Alcoa — hired architect Charles M. Goodman to design an aluminum house. The company marketed the house as “care-free” because it allegedly required less maintenance. For example, Alcoa bragged that “aluminum nails and fasteners are used throughout the house because they never rust or stain.”

So how have these houses held up?

A 1957 Alcoa house is up for sale at 8000 Westwood Hills Drive in St. Louis Park. The realty company and local preservationists are sponsoring an open house at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. It’s free and open to the public.

Todd Melby and historic preservationist Charlene Roise got a sneak peek of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with an open floor plan, courtyard and carport. Asking price is $575,000. For a mini-tour, listen to the audio report.