“Levittown, a national symbol of modest starter suburbia, is a foreclosure hot spot. This may seem to be a problem for overbuilt exurbs, go-go condo zones and McMansion sprawl — not tidy, solid communities like Levittown, where the American Dream was invented. You’d think. Until you peel back some of the irony, myth and contradiction that have accreted since William Levitt’s day.

“Take the idea of an affordable suburb built to propel blue-collar Americans into the property-owning middle class. Actually, Levittown was built for young, white men with families. Single people, people of color and the elderly were not welcome. As late as 1960, with 82,000 people, it was the largest all-white community in the nation.

“You’ll find those facts in ‘Building Suburbia,’ an essential history by Dolores Hayden, a professor of architecture, urbanism and American studies at Yale.”

In Levittown, Old Myths Meet Hard Reality New York Times LAWRENCE DOWNES November 18, 2008

Posted by: Tanya


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