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Levittown

Levittown (lĕvˈət-tounˌ) [key]. 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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