There is no Levittown. Or, no cohesive community was known as Levittown. Levittown is a post office with more than one zip code.
Was it ever different?
Recently, I was interviewed by an out-of-town writer and author who came here to learn more about Levittown and the widespread notion that “Levittown” is a united blue-collar, working-class community. For one thing, the writer was interested in why “blue collar” Levittown went for candidate Trump.
In the wake of this most recent primary election, it is obvious there is no “Levittown” voting bloc, more likely a Lower Bucks County voting pattern that is largely Democrat.
But back to Levittown, a most successful planned community designed by a visionary that put it on the map in New York. Then came Levittown, Pennsylvania, 17,300 Levitt-built homes that spanned three townships and a borough. Levittown was our central post office.
I happen to be the second owner of two Levittown homes, in two different townships. I didn’t stand on line in the early 1950s with a husband, perhaps a returning WWII veteran, a steelworker, or a teacher ready to plunk down $100 for their piece of the American dream. I came later, attracted by a closely-knit community with so many amenities for young families.
Once settled in that first Levittown home, I immediately felt I belonged somewhere special. Most of my neighbors in the small Levittowner-style home were young couples and virtually all of us were housewives and club members enjoying our washers and dryers (no kidding), coffee klatches, the Levittown pools, babysitting clubs, neighborhood cookouts among stretches of green grass, flowering bushes and skinny trees.
It was all community then and I have been here long enough to know the neighborhoods have changed. We identify with Bristol, Falls, Middletown townships or Tullytown Borough and neighborhoods of non-Levittown homes and apartments. We pay taxes and send our kids to different school districts, while some of those great neighborhood schools were absorbed into the two growing school districts. And only one of the original Levittown pools remains open.
I’m not one to long for the past, but I do identify with Middletown Township, where I vote and pay taxes. And in my recent experience, many of the newcomers see Levittown, not as a post office, but an affordable place to live in affluent Bucks County and, like the originals, believe it’s a great place to raise their kids. Sounds like the American Dream.