Levittown home for sale in near original condition

image from: zillow.com

image from: zillow.com

You have heard of Levittown right?

image from: tigger.uic.edu

image from: tigger.uic.edu

Levittown, New York, is now notorious in American 20th century history as the first suburban mass-produced housing development. It cropped up after WW2 when service members were returning from overseas en masse and needed affordable housing.

An enterprising developer – Levitt & Sons – capitalized on that great need by pioneering the on-site home building assembly line which allowed them to produce houses at a rate of 30 per day!

image from: www.metafilter.com

image from: www.metafilter.com

[Note: The photo above is actually NOT of Levittown, as was pointed out to me by an astute reader with personal knowledge of the community. Read the explanation in the comments below]

Levittown houses sold for between $7,000 and $9,000 with payments as low as $57 a month. In all, 17,447 homes were constructed in Levittown between 1947 and 1951.

You can read more about the origins of Levittown here.

Over the decades, the homes of Levittown have grown with their owners. Most Levitt houses are nowhere near their original form after having been added onto – often haphazardly – as families grew and Americans grew to love their square footage.

image from: helmofthepublicrealm.com

image from: helmofthepublicrealm.com

I have been on the prowl for a Levittown home that is in as close to original condition as possible and I think I have finally found one!

image from: realtor.com

image from: realtor.com

This 1,114 square foot house was built on Jerusalem Avenue in Levittown in 1950. At first I thought it may have had the roof line modified and popped for more space. But I did a little research and sure enough, this home is an original Levitt & Sons design.

image from: opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com

image from: opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com

It was called “The Rancher” and it was one of the later models that prospective home buyers could choose from in the planned community.

image from: www.levittownbeyond.com

image from: www.levittownbeyond.com

The only alteration I can see from the historic brochure above, is that the garage has been enclosed as opposed to being left in the original carport style.

image from: zillow.com

image from: zillow.com

Have a look inside…

image from: zllow.com

image from: zllow.com

I would hazard a guess that the original owners still live in this house.

image from: zillow.com

image from: zillow.com

Since I love all things vintage, I think the decor is granny-fabulous!

In the kitchen, the cabinets and counter tops look like they could be original…

image from: zillow.com

image from: zillow.com

image from:

image from: zillow.com

Typical of Levitt designed homes, this one has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.

image from: zillow.com

image from: zillow.com

Apparently, I am not the only one on the hunt for an original Levittown home:

Levittown has become so ingrained in American culture that the Smithsonian Institution in Washington would like to put on display an entire Levittown house. Bill Yeingst, a historian with Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Domestic Life Division said “An original ranch model would be ideal. We would like someone to donate their Levittown house, or we would like to find a donor to provide the funds so that we could secure a Levittown house.” He noted that “The stories played out in suburban Levittown are the stories of America. They are stories important to everyone.” Although “None of this is set in concrete,” according to Mr. Yeingst, “the Levittown house would be dismantled at the site, transported to Washington and reconstructed. Then it would be exhibited along with other innovations in American home life.

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levittown,_New_York

image from: zillow.com

image from: zillow.com

But the Smithsonian needs to act fast because these Levittown cuties fly off the market. In the time I was writing this post, this particular house went under contract and will soon be sold.

Asking price for this near original Levittown house?

$299,000!

 

~~~

Sources:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/76-Jerusalem-Ave-Levittown-NY-11756/31281275_zpid/

http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/20/times-are-changing-in-levittown-the-first-u-s-suburb/

http://www.levittownbeyond.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levittown,_New_York

6 Comments

  • Susan says:

    Somebody is getting a gem of a house! Good bones as they say. I suspect the owners will renovate, I hope they stay true to the mid century ethic.

  • Nancy M. says:

    Hi, Sarah. I spent my first ten years in this model in Hicksville. The cabinets look as if they’ve been changed-out: the original had metal cabinets. Plus, the refrigerator is where the stove should be. And in the living room, some idiot put that fake paneling over what was a beautiful pine tongue-and-groove paneling that had a hole cut out where the small television (that came with the house) was installed. But, thanks for posting this. I’ve been looking for pictures such as yours. Sincerely, Nancy

  • Ty says:

    I grew up in a Levitt ranch on Fisher Lane. That one is a 1949 Ranch Type “C”. We had 5 Cape Cod models and then Ranch Models, five each for 1949 1950 and 1951. Yes, like car models.

    That interior is a little hard on the eyes. Minimalism or authenticity were not in the vocabulary of your average Levittowner.

    This one is close but no cigar for being original. The kitchen was “squared off” (everyone filled in the little vestibule found in the original). The kitchen has been completely gutted with appliances all replaced and turned around. The casement windows have been replaced – which were pretty cool because you could push them open even when it was raining.

    Of course the orginal black Kentile floors were made of rubber and asbestos and the original outside shingles were asbestos.

    Also the black & white picture above is not Levittown. The fact they have basements is the biggest giveaway. The other is that Levitt staggered the setback of the houses to reduce visual monotony. On the L-town FB page people actually got angry at the picture being identified as L-Town. There are a dozen other teeny visual cues they pointed out. The house was like one of their children.

    I got curious and traced the source of this misidentification to the Encyclopedia Britannica website. These days the site is mostly aimed at grade school children to help with their homework. But in 2007 the great venerable New York Times with it’s army of reporters, editors and fact checkers used that picture from that very children’s homework site as the lead photograph for a visual retrospective of Levittown. Since then it’s taken a life of it’s own all over the world to highlight the visual monotony of Levittown.

    But I’ve met on several people on FB who actually kept or even restored the original Tracy sinks with their 50s rounded edges. And they installed smaller refrigerators and smaller stoves that fit in the original spots. It’s kind of like partially restoring a classic car.

    • Sarah says:

      Ty, thanks so much for all that info! I’ve left the photo in the post so readers could see what you were referring to. I’m still trying to get my mind around black rubber & asbestos floors!
      Anyway, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge! Thank you!
      -HCS

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