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TODAY'S PAPER

Levittown: Then and now

In 1947, Levitt & Sons built the first of 17,447 homes designed to help returning WWII veterans and their families find affordable housing on Long Island. Now, 70 years later, Levittown is widely regarded as the first modern American suburb and a benchmark for subsequent housing developments throughout the country.

While much of Levittown has changed over the past seven decades, certain parts...

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In 1947, Levitt & Sons built the first of 17,447 homes designed to help returning WWII veterans and their families find affordable housing on Long Island. Now, 70 years later, Levittown is widely regarded as the first modern American suburb and a benchmark for subsequent housing developments throughout the country.

While much of Levittown has changed over the past seven decades, certain parts of it still remain the same as they were when the first family moved into their Levitt home on October 1, 1947.

Cape Cod home - 1947

A drawing of the original Levitt Cape Cod 1947-48 model type 1. When Levittown was originally built, all the homes featured 4 1/2 rooms and an expandable attic.

Levitt Home - 2017

An original Levitt home with extensive modifications is shown on Kingfisher Road in Levittown on May 17, 2017. While most homes in Levittown don't exhibit this level of customization, all of the original Levitt homes have been modified in some fashion, according to the Levittown Historical Society. The Weber House, built in 1947, is the only home in the hamlet that remains nearly unaltered. The home, which was designated in 1995 as an official Hempstead landmark, was given aluminum siding to match the shingles, which turned black from age.

Levittown homes - 1947

This photo shows a typical Levittown street as it appeared in October 1947. All of the homes were nearly identical due to William Levitt's use of the uniform Cape Cod housing style for the entire community. Five variations were available for the original three Cape Cod models, with additional options added in subsequent years.

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Levittown homes - modern

This July 21, 2017 photo shows some of the Levitt homes on Sunrise Lane. Nearly all of the original homes show multiple modifications from the basic Cape Cod units that were built in the late 1940s and early '50s.

Levittown - 1951

This aerial shot shows Levittown as it appeared in 1951. By this time Levitt & Sons had introduced the ranch-style home to go along with the original Cape Cod designs, but many of the homes still appeared nearly identical from the air.

Levittown - 2015

This aerial view shows homes in Levittown on April 18, 2015. Many of the homes exhibit significant exterior changes, making them appear markedly different from the original Cape Cod and ranch-style models.

May's - 1967

This aerial photo shows the Levittown Shopping Center on Hempstead Turnpike in 1967. The strip mall, which was mostly associated with Mays Department Store, remains one of the largest commercial areas in the hamlet.

Tri-County Jewelry Exchange - Modern

The former site of the Mays Department store on Hempstead Turnpike is now home to the Tri-County Jewelry Exchange, an indoor market for local vendors. Many additional strip malls and shopping areas have sprung up in the years since Levitt & Sons built the first houses in 1947, but this site remains a large draw for residents and those passing through.

Levittown Memorial High School - Then

Levittown Memorial High School is seen in this undated photo. The school opened in 1953 and was one of three high schools serving the hamlet in Levittown's early days.

Levittown Memorial Education Center

Levittown Memorial High School was closed in 1983 due to low enrollment and eventually turned into the Gerald R. Claps Career & Technical Center. It offers two-year programs in architectural drawing, computer animation, automotive technology, carpentry, cosmetology, graphic arts, culinary arts and emergency medical technician training. The former high school is also home to the Levittown Historical Society, which features a museum of Levittown artifacts and re-creations of rooms from the original Levitt homes.

The original Levittown Public Library was built in 1951 in a storefront on the South Village Green. A bookmobile was used to distribute books to children throughout the hamlet.

The South Village Green, which was located on the west end of Old Oak Lane in Levittown, is now home to the Cambridge Village/Yorkshire Village apartment complex.

General Douglas Mac Arthur High School is shown in this undated photo. The school opened in 1961, and the first senior class graduated the following year.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur High School in Levittown is shown July 21, 2017. The high school is one of two located in Levittown following the closure of Levittown Memorial High School in 1983.

The Levittown Fire Department Station 1 is shown in this August, 1969 photo.

Levittown Fire Department headquarters on Gardiner Avenue is shown July 21, 2017. The department has since expanded to include three stations throughout the hamlet.

Abbey Lane School, which opened in 1949, is shown in this undated photo. Several elementary schools opened in the town's early years to accommodate the many young families moving into the hamlet following the end of World War II.

Abbey Lane Elementary School is shown July 21, 2017. The school is one of four elementary schools in Levittown.

Division Avenue High School in seen in this undated photo. The school was established in 1950 and was one of three high schools in Levittown before the closure of Levittown Memorial High School in 1983.

Division Avenue High School in Levittown on May 17, 2017.