1950s housing developments in the United States / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Levittown is the name of several large suburban housing developments created in the United States (including one in Puerto Rico) by William J. Levitt and his company Levitt & Sons. Built after World War II for returning white veterans and their new families, the communities offered attractive alternatives to cramped central city locations and apartments. The Veterans Administration and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guaranteed builders that qualified veterans could buy housing for a fraction of rental costs.

Aerial view of Levittown, Pennsylvania c.1959

The first Levittown home sold for $7,900 and in a short period of time, 17,000 units were sold, providing homes for 84,000 people. In addition to normal family dwellings, Levittowns provided private meeting areas, swimming pools, public parks, and recreational facilities.[1]

Production was modeled on assembly lines in 27 steps with construction workers trained to perform one step. A house could be built in one day, with 36 men, when effectively scheduled.[2][3] This enabled quick and economical production of similar or identical homes with rapid recovery of costs. Standard Levittown houses included a white picket fence, green lawns, and modern appliances. Sales in the original Levittown began in March 1947. 1,400 homes were purchased during the first three hours.