Levittown, NY is a town built on top of dreams and promises. It was the world’s first mass produced community. In 1947 Levittown opened 17,500 homes in reaction to the country’s housing shortage. It seemed like a miracle for young GI’s returning home from WWII. Each couple buying a house here was not only given keys to a new home, they were also given a promise of all of the splendors of the American Dream for their family. It was to be the perfect town all Americans had been searching for. TIME magazine featured William Levitt, the founder, on the cover with the caption, “For Sale: A New Way Of Life”.
I grew up in Levittown and never knew the history behind the town. For me there was nothing special about it, nothing that made it different from almost every other town around it. Upon learning about the history of Levittown, I wondered, how many of the town’s elders moved here in the 1940’s believing in all the post war propaganda surrounding the town? How long did it take for their dreams to fade and realize that their promises had been broken? I could see that what made this town unique was the hopes and dreams of an unrealistic life everyone once expected from it.
Since its start in 1947, Levittown has evolved and is almost identical to thousands of towns throughout the world. Levittown may not have become what people had dreamed of years ago. The ideas and dreams, upon which the town was built, are still in the back of some people’s minds. I view it as a place that was once a fictional, storybook world, but that world has been filtered out from meeting with more and more realities as the years go on.