About Levittown PA

Levittown is a census-designated place in Bucks County within the Philadelphia urban area. Levittown population was 52,983 at the 2010 census. Though not a municipality, it is sometimes known as the largest suburb of Philadelphia. Starting with land acquired in 1951, it was designed and built by Levitt & Sons. The brothers Bill Levitt and Alfred Levitt designed its six typical houses.

History of Levittown

The majority of the land on that it is built was purchased in 1951. Levitt and Sons only built six types of house in Levittown, all single-family houses with lawns: the Levittowner, Rancher, Jubilee, Pennsylvanian, Colonial and the Country Clubber, with only modest exterior changes within each model. The homes were moderately priced and required a low down payment. Construction of Levittown started in February 1952, shortly after completion of Levittown, New York, stationed on Long Island. Levittown, Pennsylvania was the second “Levittown” created by William J. Levitt, who is often seen as the creator of the modern American suburb. To hurry up construction, Levitt & Sons developed a 26-step rationalized building method that was an assembly line type of home construction. The home remained stationary, while the workers moved from house to house. Each worker had one assignment such as pouring slabs, framing, installing electrical sockets or installing washing machines. The highly regimented process enabled Levitt’s workers to create a finished house every 16 minutes. Production of the homes commenced in 1952, and when finished in 1958, 17,311 homes were built.

What set Levittown apart at the time was that it was built as a complete community. Levitt & Sons produced neighborhoods with traffic-calming curvilinear roads, in which there are no four-way intersections. Each neighborhood had a site donated by Levitt & Sons to be used for a public elementary school. Locations for other buildings were set on main routes like the Levittown Parkway, likewise provided by the builders to religious organizations and institutions. Other amenities included Olympic-sized public pools, parks, baseball fields, and playgrounds. It also included a shopping center located in neighboring Tullytown Borough which was considered vast and modern at the time of the creation (and in fact was the biggest east of the Mississippi). The initial set of four sample homes was put on display in a swatch of land adjacent the future Levittown Shop-a-Rama, and an estimated 30,000 people saw them in that first weekend. Feel free to read more about Levittown than and now.

Aerial view of Levittown

Residents were expected to comply with an extensive list of rules and regulations regarding the maintenance of their homes and use of their property. Two of these rules involved a prohibition on hanging laundry out to dry on Sunday and not letting homeowners to fence off their yards. These proved unenforceable over time, especially when backyard pools became financially available to the working class and privacy concerns prompted many to fence off their yards. In the years since Levitt & Sons ended construction, three- and four-story “garden apartments” and some non-Levitt owner-occupied houses have been raised in Levittown.

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