Levittown Historical Society And Museum

Levittown Historical Society And Museum The society is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving the Legacy of Levittown. The museum is closed during all school holidays/breaks.
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Levittown Historical Society And Museum
03/08/2019

Levittown Historical Society And Museum

New issue of levittimes is here! Will be sent shortly. Become a member and receive one in your mailbox!

New issue of levittimes is here! Will be sent shortly. Become a member and receive one in your mailbox!
03/07/2019

New issue of levittimes is here! Will be sent shortly. Become a member and receive one in your mailbox!

03/07/2019

DOING INTERVIEWS
There is a reason that the Levittown Historical Society & Museum is cautious about whom in the press it grants interviews. Here is the reason:

US:
William Levitt, responding to overwhelming demand and an ever-shifting and unpredictable market, built thousands upon thousands of modern, clean, efficient, and inexpensive homes for working class GI's with nowhere to go in an area with a rich history of agriculture, rail roads, aviation, and auto racing. The mass-production, civil-engineering, labor, marketing, purchasing, and business model techniques revolutionized here came to be emulated throughout the developed world and modified to fit other industries. (Alas, prior to 1949, banks, mortgage companies, and the Federal Housing Administration would not loan the millions of dollars necessary for developers to do things like this unless those developers had "whites only" clauses in their housing contracts).

HOW THEY REPORT IT:
The racist William Levitt threw up a bunch of cheap cookie-cutter houses on old potato fields for racist Archie Bunkers and then kept black people out of them.
-PM

03/05/2019
Levittown Historical Society And Museum

Levittown Historical Society And Museum

Building the People's House.
By any measure, William Levitt was the Builder of the People, expediting the process whereupon the sales clerk, bank teller, truck driver, janitor, gas station attendant, and factory worker might undertake that which hitherto had been an opportunity only afforded the upper middle class: Suburban homeownership. And what he built was nothing less than the People's House, the house which no hardworking family ought have anything less nor need anything more. Take, for example, the amazing Ranch house.
After building 6000 Cape Cod rentals in 1947 and 1948, Levitt & Sons moved on to building and selling Ranch homes. Not satisfied with blueprints and tabletop models, they would build and demolish and build and demolish until they got it perfect. "The Ranch", William Levitt told American Builders in September of 1949, "was designed by ripping apart and building again. The 1949 Ranch house in Levittown was torn apart more than thirty times and we spent upwards of $50,000 before we were satisfied with the plan for a house we could sell for less than $8000." No wonder the April 1949 issue of Architectural Forum called it "the latest and most spectacular impossibility".
Levitt & Sons built 4,192 Ranch houses in 1949. Then 4,755 in 1950. Then 2,500 in 1951. Levittowners grew up in excellent, orderly, efficient, well-constructed homes because Mr. Levitt wanted it that way and would settle for nothing less. -PM

03/05/2019

Building the People's House.
By any measure, William Levitt was the Builder of the People, expediting the process whereupon the sales clerk, bank teller, truck driver, janitor, gas station attendant, and factory worker might undertake that which hitherto had been an opportunity only afforded the upper middle class: Suburban homeownership. And what he built was nothing less than the People's House, the house which no hardworking family ought have anything less nor need anything more. Take, for example, the amazing Ranch house.
After building 6000 Cape Cod rentals in 1947 and 1948, Levitt & Sons moved on to building and selling Ranch homes. Not satisfied with blueprints and tabletop models, they would build and demolish and build and demolish until they got it perfect. "The Ranch", William Levitt told American Builders in September of 1949, "was designed by ripping apart and building again. The 1949 Ranch house in Levittown was torn apart more than thirty times and we spent upwards of $50,000 before we were satisfied with the plan for a house we could sell for less than $8000." No wonder the April 1949 issue of Architectural Forum called it "the latest and most spectacular impossibility".
Levitt & Sons built 4,192 Ranch houses in 1949. Then 4,755 in 1950. Then 2,500 in 1951. Levittowners grew up in excellent, orderly, efficient, well-constructed homes because Mr. Levitt wanted it that way and would settle for nothing less. -PM

A favorite shopping area..still recognizable in spite of differing stores...Gardiner's Ave Mall.
03/02/2019

A favorite shopping area..still recognizable in spite of differing stores...Gardiner's Ave Mall.

03/01/2019

Levittown Myths/Misconceptions.
Levittown Historical Society & Museum President Paul Manton sets the record straight on some common myths and misconceptions about Levittown and its history. Levittown Museum. March 18, 2019. 7:30pm. Levittown Memorial Education Center, 150 Abbey Ln. Levittown.

A review of Society  Vice president's CD of his past Band, "THE KEYS" that also mentions his work with the Historical So...
02/23/2019

A review of Society Vice president's CD of his past Band, "THE KEYS" that also mentions his work with the Historical Society and Museum: "Growing up in Mineola on Long Island and then moving to Levittown, Bob has, in addition to pumping out catchy power pop tunes, logged time as vice president of the Levittown Historical Society. He has been called Mr. Levittown but might as well be called Mr. Long Island. Such are the turns Bob’s life has taken (and oh, by the way, he was a mailman for 32 years and is now retired)."

The Keys | Grand Reopening (Zero Hour, 2019)

Because bands are composed of real people whose lives, at a certain point in time, take a variety of turns at speeds approaching and often exceeding the speed limit, the story of Bob Koenig, who logged time in a band called Abandon Here and then assembled Long Island power poppers the Keys, may seem familiar to you and, perhaps, you too.

Growing up in Mineola on Long Island and then moving to Levittown, Bob has, in addition to pumping out catchy power pop tunes, logged time as vice president of the Levittown Historical Society. He has been called Mr. Levittown but might as well be called Mr. Long Island. Such are the turns Bob’s life has taken (and oh, by the way, he was a mailman for 32 years and is now retired).

Perhaps we will take a closer look at Bob’s story in the future–it’s rather an interesting one–but for now let’s take a look at the music of the Keys, collected in typically fine fashion by the folks at Zero Hour records. Comprising 20 tracks–two recorded by Abandon Here–it is a powerful, melodic ride that stretches from 1984 to 1993. It is most certainly a ride worth taking.

Throughout these tracks, there is a palpable sense of the sound of Badfinger, if it’s a reference that you’re seeking. But mostly, the Keys sound like the Keys, which is ultimately the only reference that matters. All of the hallmarks that power pop fans crave are here: attractive, memorable melodies, rich harmonies, guitar prowess, and powerful drums.

Tracks like “Change of Seasons,” “Poison Pen,” and “Herky Jerky Love” will satisfy most power pop cravings, but so will Bob’s “Pool of Tears” and “See Cybill Cry,” which open with soft, serene backings and become mid-tempo pop-rockers with great, catchy melodies, lyrical guitar solos and strong lead vocals and vocal harmonies. They are the cats meows of this album.

Dig into 20 tracks of power pop goodness here with Long Island’s the Keys and stay tuned for more of Bob Koenig’s story.

Where to Get It: Zero Hour, Amazon, Kool Kat

From Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio Blog

Sights not around anymore!
02/22/2019

Sights not around anymore!

Vintage photo find: Mid Century Furniture designer Jens Risom with our Levittown Book!  Jens was a friend of Alfred Levi...
02/22/2019

Vintage photo find: Mid Century Furniture designer Jens Risom with our Levittown Book! Jens was a friend of Alfred Levitt, and designed the swing Cabinet that was in every 1949 Ranch home! Photo taken at Jens New Canaan CT home by Bob Koenig.

Levittown Special Events
02/20/2019

Levittown Special Events

If you are the child of an original Levitt home owner who moved into Levittown between 1947 to 1951 and you’d like to be interviewed for the video that we are producing for the 75th anniversary celebration, please see the attached flyer. Interviews will be conducted over the next month so a response is needed by February 25.
If you like to hear about the progress we’re making and plans for the Father’s Day breakfast, please join us at the next anniversary committee meeting on Tuesday, February 26 at 7 PM at the VFW Hall at 55 Hickory Lane, Levittown.
Louise

Levittown Historical Society Museum President Paul Manton, Levittown Community Council member Donald Pantane, and Assemb...
02/18/2019

Levittown Historical Society Museum President Paul Manton, Levittown Community Council member Donald Pantane, and Assemblyman John Mikulin greeting the public in the lobby of Levittown Hall on their way to Levittown Winterfest 2019.

Levittown Historical Society & Museum table strategically placed in the lobby of Levittown Hall to greet people as they ...
02/17/2019

Levittown Historical Society & Museum table strategically placed in the lobby of Levittown Hall to greet people as they came for the annual Levittown Winterfest. Being the first thing visitors to the Hall saw as they entered was a great reminder of the Levitt legacy that made it all possible.

Scenes from the 2019 Winterfest! Levittown Historical Society table was in the Hallway!

Society Educator Geri Raab with Docent Tom Cappiello at our table. Winbterfest 2019
02/17/2019

Society Educator Geri Raab with Docent Tom Cappiello at our table. Winbterfest 2019

Scenes from the 2019 Winterfest! Levittown Historical Society table was in the Hallway!
02/16/2019

Scenes from the 2019 Winterfest! Levittown Historical Society table was in the Hallway!

Vice President Bob Koenig with our new Docent Tom Cappiello, sharing the Pokemon costume with Dennis Dunne!!  At the 201...
02/16/2019

Vice President Bob Koenig with our new Docent Tom Cappiello, sharing the Pokemon costume with Dennis Dunne!! At the 2019 Levittown Community Council Winterfest.

02/07/2019
Levittown Historical Society And Museum

Levittown Historical Society And Museum

WILLIAM LEVITT AT 112.
February 11th occasions what would have been William Levitt's 112th birthday. This year I should like to contemplate the profound ironies that circumscribed the life of this great man.

*. Although not a religious man, Levitt understood the spiritual needs of the people in his developments and put aside land for houses-of-worship.He also donated millions of dollars to Jewish charities.

* Levitt was excessively fond of luxuries - mansions,yachts,automobiles,expensive clothes - but always spoke at length of the needs of homecoming veterans,of housewives in their kitchens,of workers toiling to build his houses,of children and their recreation, and of the beneficiaries of his charity work.

*Levitt is noted for his ingeniously planned,highly detailed,carefully organized plans, and excellent results.But his philosophy was largely pragmatic - the business model, the plans, and the product were ever-shifting to adopt to a changing market; the willingness to embrace new concepts and jettison obsolete ones at the drop of a hat.

* Levitt, the outspoken anti-communist, gave thousands upon thousands of working class families,safe,clean, modern,and affordable homes with extensive community facilities in neighborhoods where nobody was rich,nobody was very poor,everyone shared everything, and everyone had pretty much what everyone else had -everything the communists always said they would bequeath the working people but never did (or could).

* Levitt hired black workers to build his homes at a time when many labor unions would not have black members and he hired one black man to be a supervisor in his company at a time when few white-owned businesses did so.Sadly, banks,mortgage companies,and the Federal Housing Administration forced him and other home builders to have "whites only" clauses in their contracts upon sufferance of loan monies and mortgage protections being withheld.
-PM

02/07/2019

WILLIAM LEVITT AT 112.
February 11th occasions what would have been William Levitt's 112th birthday. This year I should like to contemplate the profound ironies that circumscribed the life of this great man.

*. Although not a religious man, Levitt understood the spiritual needs of the people in his developments and put aside land for houses-of-worship.He also donated millions of dollars to Jewish charities.

* Levitt was excessively fond of luxuries - mansions,yachts,automobiles,expensive clothes - but always spoke at length of the needs of homecoming veterans,of housewives in their kitchens,of workers toiling to build his houses,of children and their recreation, and of the beneficiaries of his charity work.

*Levitt is noted for his ingeniously planned,highly detailed,carefully organized plans, and excellent results.But his philosophy was largely pragmatic - the business model, the plans, and the product were ever-shifting to adopt to a changing market; the willingness to embrace new concepts and jettison obsolete ones at the drop of a hat.

* Levitt, the outspoken anti-communist, gave thousands upon thousands of working class families,safe,clean, modern,and affordable homes with extensive community facilities in neighborhoods where nobody was rich,nobody was very poor,everyone shared everything, and everyone had pretty much what everyone else had -everything the communists always said they would bequeath the working people but never did (or could).

* Levitt hired black workers to build his homes at a time when many labor unions would not have black members and he hired one black man to be a supervisor in his company at a time when few white-owned businesses did so.Sadly, banks,mortgage companies,and the Federal Housing Administration forced him and other home builders to have "whites only" clauses in their contracts upon sufferance of loan monies and mortgage protections being withheld.
-PM

Island Trees Girl Scouts tour the museum! Tour given by Paul Manton.
02/02/2019

Island Trees Girl Scouts tour the museum! Tour given by Paul Manton.

John Mikulin NYS Assembly, 17th District
01/29/2019

John Mikulin NYS Assembly, 17th District

Come donate blood at the Levittown Fire House this Thursday!

01/26/2019
Levittown Historical Society And Museum

Levittown Historical Society And Museum

January 28, 1994.
Twenty-five years ago, a sickly William Levitt expired in a room in a hospital his donations helped to build and on whose board of trustees he sat for many years. More than a decade-and-a-half of ill health, legal entanglements, and financial woes culminated on that day. As he left this world behind him, it seemed as if the world had already left him behind. But we forget that he created that world.......Where all other real estate companies succumbed to the Great Depression and the hardships of World War Two, Levitt & Sons survived, succeeded,and prospered. Where all others were stymied by bureaucratic inertia, intransigence, and lack of vision in addressing the greatest challenge in their industry's history- the post-WWII housing shortage - Levitt & Sons exuded flexibility, adaptability, and foresight. Where the business models of his competitors were obsolete, William Levitt's was revolutionary and could erect more houses in a day than the average pre-War developer could build in a year. And for the working classes who'd known poverty, overcrowded dwellings, and homelessness, he offered safe, clean, affordable, and efficient homes in safe, clean, affordable, and efficient communities. .......Levitt no more invented home-building than Henry Ford invented the automobile, Thomas Edison invented electrical power, or Bill Gates invented the computer. But just as the automobile, power, and computer industries today would be inconceivable without Ford, Edison, and Gates, so we can never think of the house in which we dwell without thinking of William Levitt.....If the slings and arrows of life caught up with William Levitt in 1994, and lowered his status in the world, recall how many humble working class people were raised up because of him. -PM.

01/26/2019
Levittown Historical Society And Museum

Levittown Historical Society And Museum

January 28, 1994.
Twenty-five years ago, a sickly William Levitt expired in a room in a hospital his donations helped to build and on whose board of trustees he sat for many years. More than a decade-and-a-half of ill health, legal entanglements, and financial woes culminated on that day. As he left this world behind him, it seemed as if the world had already left him behind. But we forget that he created that world.......Where all other real estate companies succumbed to the Great Depression and the hardships of World War Two, Levitt & Sons survived, succeeded,and prospered. Where all others were stymied by bureaucratic inertia, intransigence, and lack of vision in addressing the greatest challenge in their industry's history- the post-WWII housing shortage - Levitt & Sons exuded flexibility, adaptability, and foresight. Where the business models of his competitors were obsolete, William Levitt's was revolutionary and could erect more houses in a day than the average pre-War developer could build in a year. And for the working classes who'd known poverty, overcrowded dwellings, and homelessness, he offered safe, clean, affordable, and efficient homes in safe, clean, affordable, and efficient communities. .......Levitt no more invented home-building than Henry Ford invented the automobile, Thomas Edison invented electrical power, or Bill Gates invented the computer. But just as the automobile, power, and computer industries today would be inconceivable without Ford, Edison, and Gates, so we can never think of the house in which we dwell without thinking of William Levitt.....If the slings and arrows of life caught up with William Levitt in 1994, and lowered his status in the world, recall how many humble working class people were raised up because of him. -PM.

Address

Memorial Educaton Center 150 Abbey Lane
Levittown, NY
11756

Opening Hours

Wednesday 14:30 - 16:30
Friday 19:00 - 21:00

Telephone

(516) 434-7140

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