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Levittown(lĕv`ət-toun'). 1 Uninc. residential city (1990 pop. 53,286), Nassau co., SE N.Y., on Long Island; founded 1947. Originally about 7 sq mi (18 sq km) of potato fields, it was developed by Levitt & Sons, Inc., as a mass-produced area of private, low-cost housing. Each of the more than 17,000 nearly identical two-bedroom Cape Cod–style homes were built on a concrete slab and offered 800 sq ft (74 sq m) of space in a suburban setting. 2 Suburban development (1990 pop. 55,362), Bucks co., E Pa., between Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J. It was the second housing establishment built (1951–55) by Levitt & Sons, who repeated the low-cost residence plan of the N.Y. development. The name Levittown has come to symbolize the U.S. post–World War II suburban phenomenon, which first gave middle-class families the option of inexpensive, single-unit housing outside urban neighborhoods. Sometimes criticized for their "cookie-cutter" designs, most of Levittown's houses have been remodeled and expanded by their owners in the years since they were built.
See studies by H. Gans (1967) and B. M. Kelly (1993).
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In the years following World War II, a bedroom community built in suburban New York City, eventually becoming one of the most successful garden communities of its type and often replicated; characterized by winding streets and affordable houses, each on its own site and having an attached carport.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.