Editor’s note: This article is part of a series in which Newsday attempts to answer questions from Long Islanders about life on the Island. If there’s a question you want us to answer, send it to us here.
Are there any original Levitt houses left in Levittown?
Short answer: Probably not.
Long answer: The homes have all been altered, expanded or rebuilt since the first house went up 70 years ago, according to the Levittown Historical Society.
Levittown began as the first modern suburb in the United States. The building company Levitt and Sons, led by William Levitt, bought land on Long Island and constructed more than 17,000 homes in 1947. The houses, despite coming in three Cape Cod models with five variations, looked almost exactly the same.
The original, mass produced houses were one story tall. They had four and a half rooms, two of which were bedrooms. They had driveways, but no garages or fences. Shingles covered the outer walls. For a little variety, the houses were painted all different colors, including yellow, red and blue.
Bob Koenig, vice president of the Levittown Historical Society, said many of the houses were altered to match the needs of growing families and replace deterioration.
“There’s a couple of houses that come very close, but I really don’t think that there’s any that would’ve been sustained, especially since we’re talking about 70 years,” he said.
The Weber House, built in 1947, is the main example. It’s an official Hempstead landmark, designated in 1995 by the town. It has one notable exterior alteration — the siding was changed from shingles to aluminum, because the original red-colored shingles had turned black. It also has a fence between the front and backyards, but it doesn’t have a garage and is still one story tall.
“As far as today goes, that’s as far as you’re going to get,” Koenig said.