About Levittown PA

Levittown, situated in Bucks County as part of the Philadelphia area is a census designated place, with a population of 52,983 according to the 2010 census. While not officially recognized as a municipality it is often referred to as Philadelphia’s suburb. The development of Levittown began in 1951 when Levitt & Sons acquired the land and constructed six house designs.

History of Levittown

The majority of the land for Levittown was purchased in 1951. Levitt and Sons built six types of single family houses with lawns; the Levittowner, Rancher, Jubilee, Pennsylvanian, Colonial and Country Clubber. Each model had differences. These homes were reasonably priced. Required a down payment. Construction commenced in February 1952 after completing the Levittown on Long Island in New York. William J. Levitt is often credited as the mastermind behind suburbs and he expedited construction using an efficient 26 step building method resembling an assembly line process where workers moved from house to house while each home remained stationary.

Each worker was assigned a task, such as pouring slabs framing, installing sockets or setting up washing machines. The organized process allowed Levitts workers to complete a house every 16 minutes. Construction of these homes began in 1952. Concluded in 1958 resulting in the construction of 17,311 houses.

What made Levittown unique during that time was its development as a formed community. Levitt & Sons created neighborhoods with curved roads designed to reduce traffic congestion eliminating four way intersections altogether. In each neighborhood Levitt & Sons donated land for schools. They also strategically placed buildings along routes like the Levittown Parkway and provided space for religious organizations and institutions. Additional amenities included swimming pools, parks, baseball fields and playgrounds. Furthermore there was a shopping center located in the neighboring Tullytown Borough which was considered expensive and modern for its time (in fact it was east of the Mississippi). The initial display of four sample homes took place on a plot of land to the location of Levittown Shop a Rama; approximately 30,000 people saw these homes during that first weekend. If you’re interested in learning about both current aspects of Levittown feel free to explore further Levittown then and now.

Aerial view of Levittown

Residents in Levittown were expected to follow a list of rules and regulations regarding the upkeep of their homes and the use of their property. Among these rules were restrictions on hanging laundry on Sundays. Prohibiting homeowners from fencing off their yards. However as time went on these rules became difficult to enforce especially when backyard pools became more affordable for the working class. Privacy concerns also led residents to fence off their yards. Since Levitt & Sons stopped building there have been developments in Levittown including three and four story “garden apartments” as non Levitt owned houses.

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