Long Island, New York, is commonly regarded as the birthplace of the modern American suburb. There were swimming pools, retail malls, and backyards. In Levittown, every house looked the same—they were all built in the Cape Cod style and had the same floorplan. Each one costs roughly $7,000. Of that amount, about half was paid by the federal government through its Housing Authority. The rest of the money came from local buyers who wanted to move out of the city and into less expensive housing.
Cape Cod architecture was the most popular style in America during the 1950s. It can be seen in nearly 1 million homes across the country. The typical cape cod has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open floor plan, and a detached garage. They are usually around 1,500 square feet. The oldest parts of Cape Cod are made of granite and have steep roofs with wide overhangs. But most houses today are made of wood instead. They often have vinyl siding or brick exteriors, but some have stone or wooden facades.
In the early days of Levittown, only builders who already had licenses could build there. So everyone from small independent contractors to large corporations like General Electric could hire them. But by the late 1950s, only a few companies were able to meet the demand for cape codes, so prices rose and many small businesses went out of business.
Long Island, New York, was among the first to pioneer the concept of a pre-planned, mass-produced, homogenous suburban town. On October 1, 1947, families began to relocate there. Here's what life was like in the 1950s in that area.
The population of Long Island at the time was less than 500,000 people, which makes it easier to understand why some people were so eager to leave crowded cities like New York City and move out to Long Island. There were plenty of houses for sale since most of them had been built before World War II and therefore were still owned by their original builders.
In addition to being close to Manhattan, Long Island is also only one hour by plane from major cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. This made it easy for many people to visit their children and grandchildren during school holidays or vacation periods.
The community was founded by real estate developer William Levitt. He came up with the idea of building single-family homes in an area where people could buy themselves a house after leaving their parents' home. In addition, he offered these new houses to his customers at very low prices - often only half of what people would have paid in cities like New York City.
William Levitt employed mass production techniques to create affordable homes in suburban New York in 1947 to assist alleviate the postwar housing crisis. Levittown became an emblem of the suburbanization trend in the years after WWII. The typical house was estimated to have cost $8000 to $10,000 at the time it was built.
In addition to being affordable, the suburbs were seen as providing a better life for families by enabling them to control their own destiny through home ownership. Homes were sold with an array of amenities that they did not have before, such as covered walkways and driveways, which allowed homeowners to maintain their properties without having to pay for landscaping services or parking spaces for their cars. Parents could also provide their children with a better future by giving them access to greater education and employment opportunities. When you combine these factors with the fact that most suburbs were gated communities with uniform houses arranged along cul-de-sacs, it is no wonder why people wanted to move to Levittown.
The suburb was designed by Levitt & Sons, who hired an outside architect to design some of its more expensive homes. However, the majority of the houses were custom-built by individual contractors who worked with Levitt to design and build a house within a set amount of time. This process enabled Levitt to produce large numbers of homes within a short period of time.
Levittown was a mass manufacturing of low-cost suburban homes aimed towards young soldiers and their wives. African Americans were barred from participating. It represented the flight to the suburbs; residential areas around cities more than quadrupled during this period.
The term "Levittown" is used for other places too: such as Levittown, New York, Levittown, Pennsylvania, and even a small town in Massachusetts named Levitt.
In addition to its large number of houses, another thing people know about Levittown is that it was originally owned by Tribune Company. The company built its first house here, which is now the headquarters of Warner Bros. Television.
Tribune later sold its stake in Levittown to an affiliate of Lennar Corporation for $10 million in 1974. The last house was finished in September 1978.
Since then, Lennar has been developing the land with parks and schools. They have also been encouraging residents to continue to improve the community by paying taxes on their houses.
People love living in Levittown because of the price of the home and the quality of the construction. There are many activities for people of all ages to enjoy so you never get bored. And if you do want to move out, the prices of these houses make moving easy enough that most people don't.
Abraham Levitt and his two sons, William and Alfred, founded the construction business Levitt & Sons, which created four planned towns dubbed "Levittown" in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico; the Levittown in New York was the first. The family business was later acquired by General Electric.
The Levitts were Jewish immigrants from Ukraine who came to the United States in 1894. They settled in Brooklyn and started a small construction company that built homes for middle-class Americans. In fact, the first house they built is still standing in Bay Ridge, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Abraham died at age 57 after falling off of a ladder while working on his farm. His death left his son William alone in charge of the company.
In time, other Levitt brothers also joined the company, but only William and Alfred worked full-time for the company. The others helped out when needed or wanted to start their own businesses. In 1958, General Electric bought the Levitt company for $11 million in cash and 1,200,000 shares of GE stock. Under the terms of the deal, Levitt continued to run his construction firm, and he kept its name too. Today, the Levitt family is involved with several businesses including a real estate agency and a financial services company. They also have an apartment complex called "The Fridge" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.