Levittown, NY

Levittown is the first modern American suburb, built in 1947 after the Levitt & Sons company purchased a 7-square-mile plot of land. Many couples viewed Levittown and other suburbs as a chance to start over after WWII, and had the opportunity to purchase houses because of the G.I. Bill. People left cities like NYC and the larger, denser parts of Long Island to move to Levittown, where homes were built every 16 minutes at its peak. Each house was exactly the same, and the population was similarly homogenous. The mortgages were cheaper in Levittown than they were in large cities, but there were specific rules that prohibited minorities from buying houses and moving in, creating the homogeneity. Regarding the people themselves, the men usually worked in the nearby cities, while women stayed at home taking care of the children, a trend that echoes Robert Fishman’s note of the Evangelical movement encouraging women to return to the home and revolve their entire lives excusively around their family.

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