Are children more protected in an urban or suburban area? Some couples exchange their metropolitan dwellings for more spacious (and allegedly safer) suburban spaces when they decide to start families. Others believe the culture, options, and access a city offers are unmeasured. Crime can happen anywhere, but which setting makes you more comfortable?
While it was officially Levittown's 60th birthday on October 12th, I wanted to wait until Veterans Day to talk about this historic suburb. Sixty years (and one month) ago, the nation's first postwar living community — or suburb — was established in Nassau County, New York, in what is now known as Levittown, Long Island.
Built by the firm of Levitt & Sons, Incorporated, between 1947 and 1951, Levittown provided affordable housing for World War II veterans and their families, and a home could be bought for as little as $7,000. Levittown quickly became the model for similar suburban communities, which soon exploded all over the country. Unfortunately though, Levittown was far from a utopian dream. A written clause stated that a Levitt home could not “be used or occupied by any person other than members of the Caucasian race." While this clause was dropped in 1948, an unwritten policy of racial exclusion continued.
Molly directed me to these Flickr photos from the Westlake District of Daly City, California. One of America's first master-planned postwar suburbs, Westlake was the "inspiration" for Malvina Reynolds' song "Little Boxes," which became a hit for folk musician Pete Seeger in 1964. Many Casa readers, however, probably recognize it as the theme music for the TV show "Weeds."
You can find out more about Westlake on America's Most Perfect Ticky-Tacky Suburb. I'm curious: Do you like these homes, or do you find the design too dated? Tell me when you take a look the gallery and read more