As the largest and most influential housing development of its time, it became a postwar poster child for everything right affordability, better standard of living and wrong architectural monotony, poor planning, racism with suburbia. Levitt was still defending segregated housing, at that time in Maryland. In 1955 housing starts reached a record 1. Your browser does not support inline frames or is currently configured not to display inline frames. Levitt plastered the newspapers with advertisements designed to attract one and all, especially young war veterans.
Still, on its 60th anniversary, Levittown holds a place on the national stage. New York, Pantheon Books, 1967. A mass-produced suburban housing development on , , the first Levittown came to symbolize post— suburbanization. The white male soldiers who returned from Europe and the Pacific came back not to merely a warm welcome, but to a wide-ranging social program designed to lift them up from the dire economic circumstances so many experienced for so long during the 1930s. Suburbs see entry under 1950s—The Way We Lived in volume 3 existed to some extent in the 1800s, but they were mostly for rich people. Or are they rather like the endless rows of postwar homes that William Levitt built on Long Island? Many minorities were barred from enjoying these benefits due to housing discrimination, job and educational discrimination, and because 60 percent of African-American veterans were given dishonorable discharges from military service and were thus ineligible for benefits. Edmondson, the black community center official, stood out when he started working here 28 years ago.
One of the 21 elementary schools was named after Walt Disney, who attended its dedication. Education in Levittown; reporting a study of the administration, financing and educational program of the school system, 1961—62, to the Board of Education, Union Free School District no. The Levitts perfected the art of mass-producing houses by dividing the construction process into 27 different steps from start to finish. A year later, President Harry S. The people living in these Levittown neighborhoods often shared schools, swimming parks, sports centers - this has become a long lasting tradition of surburbia and can be found in almost every single surburban neighborhood. Although he never moved to Levittown, living instead in Hempstead, he became a respected community leader here. Archived from on December 20, 2008.
A small portion of the northwest corner of the hamlet is served by the. Carports became garages and backyards were screened in. This necessitated negotiating a change in the building code, which prior to the building of this community, did not permit concrete slabs. The building of every house was reduced to 26 steps, with sub-contractors responsible for each step. Each home came complete with a washing machine and a television set at a time when these devices were still seen as wonders of technology available only to the upper middle classes. The case determined that students' first amendment rights were violated when the school board removed several books it found objectionable from the high school's library.
They have become the ideal American home. Only well after the 1954 racial integration decisions, including , was Levittown racially integrated, and even as late as the 1990 census only a tiny fraction of the community was non-white, a stigma that still exists until this day. At least some of the incoming white residents were uncomfortable with the restrictions. There are 17,447 housing units at an average density of 2,531. Gans' experience in Levittown was a positive one and he supported suburban sprawl since a house in a homogenous community of almost all whites is what many people of the era desired and even demanded. In Levittown, this inverted combined with an economy of scale to produce houses cheaply and quickly. In 1949, Levitt and Sons discontinued the model and introduced ranch-style houses, all of which were for sale.
Living by Rules They Did Not Make Whenever historians, planners and sociologists plumb the lessons of Levittown, race always looms. The original Cape Cods had two bedrooms and an unfinished attic. Levittown, right from the start, was famous. Levitt and his brother Alfred capitalized on the twin circumstances of enormous demand and unequaled opportunity of the post- era by purchasing 1500 acres of potato fields in Nassau County, and then building 6,000 small, boxy houses there in little more than a year. William Levitt attempted to justify their decision to only sell homes to white families by saying that it was in the best interest for business.
Certainly for the inhabitants of Levittown, more disturbing complaints came from their Long Island neighbors. They believed that potential white buyers would not want to buy a house in Levittown if they were aware that they would have black neighbors. Since 2000, poverty and unemployment have both ticked up slightly to 5. The suburban trend was in many ways a by-product of the war. He said that although race may lurk as an issue, he has been accepted as a professional. Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College.
Stokes Elementary School, and J. His knowledge of the area is encyclopedic. National Center for Education Statistics. They were so popular that T. You will search in vain for that original, untouched Levitt house.