Levittown, Pa.
Building the Suburban Dream
 

Explore the exhibit menu:
Planning, Building and Selling Levittown

Crabgrass Frontiers

The Most Perfectly Planned Community

The Most House for the Most Money

Assembly Line Housing

Advertising the American Dream


The Suburban Dream
Levittown Kitchen


Exhibit acknowledgements

 

Advertising the American Dream
SELLING LEVITTOWN


sold cartoon

repro full page advertisements from the Phila Inq.

repro full page advertisements from the Phila Inq.

Two full-page advertisements for Levittown from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Showing House of Levittown showroom Courtesy of the Bucks County Historical Society.Before opening for business on December 8, 1951, Levitt bought a full page ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer. More than 30,000 people turned out for the opening weekend.

House of Levittown showroom. [Bucks County Historical Society]

At "The House of Levittown" exhibit center, prospective home buyers were invited to inspect "all equipment and materials … down to the last gallon of paint." Levitt promoted his houses as offering the most modern, efficient materials available.


"Your first impression … and it stays with you … is one of quiet, spacious beauty. The gently curving streets with modern lighting are uncluttered by cars … Everywhere you look, your eyes rest on the loveliness of well-kept lawns, majestic shade trees, fruit trees and flowering shrubs."

Levittown was promoted through a variety of methods—from full-page ads in national publications to color brochures.

The most effective form of advertising were the houses themselves, samples of which could be inspected on site at Levitt’s exhibition center across from the Tullytown train station.

Bill Levitt poses with full-page newspaper advertisements for Levittown. [Saturday Evening Post, August 1954.]Levittown’s most attractive feature? Its cost.

Bill Levitt poses with full-page newspaper advertisements for Levittown. [Saturday Evening Post, August 1954]

Financing the American Dream

buyers at settlement Courtesy of the Nassau County Museum.During Levittown, Pa.’s first year, the company sold an average of 1600 houses a month. During a typical closing, it was not uncommon to see 40 to 50 buyers settling simultaneously on their new homes.

Buyers at settlement. [Nassau County Museum]

To qualify for a mortgage, prospective Levittown home buyers were required to meet minimum income levels. Even so, the company frequently sold out its annual allocation of houses by May or June.

Most Levittown homes were financed with Veterans Administration (VA) loans. The federal government and local realtors distributed sample mortgage applications to help veterans take advantage of this benefit.

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