8.3 out of 10

Levittown

40.7201677745916 -73.511780572915
Great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
  • Eating Out
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Pest Free
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Mar 22, 2014
Read full review on Douglas Elliman
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Aug 26, 2012

"Where Suburbia Began"

The famous Levittown was born after World War II, when returning soldiers were faced with a serious housing shortage. William Levitt, who had mass-produced military housing while in the Navy, bought large areas of blight-ravaged potato fields and created endless tracts of identical Cape Cod-style houses. Initially offered as rentals, such was the demand that half of the first 2,000 houses built were rented within two days.

Additional houses were quickly built and offered for sale. The first ones available, in 1947, had four rooms and a bathroom and went for $6,900; later versions, the larger 800-square foot ranch houses, were $7,900. Within four years Levitt and Sons had built 17,447 houses. The name of the town changed from Island Trees to Levittown, in part because there wasn’t a tree left standing after they were finished.

Now, however, trees have been planted and the houses have been renovated to the point where they are unrecognizable as the cookie-cutter “dream homes” of the post-war era. This is still hard-core suburbia, where rows and rows of houses are situated on a small square of lawn just a bit bigger than the house; but the numbing uniformity of design is gone.

Levittown is located between the Village of Hempstead and Farmingdale, ten miles east of Queens. Although it’s technically a hamlet, it’s a very populated one: there are 51,881 residents. It is within the Town of Hempstead, population 759,757; Hempstead contains 22 villages and 37 hamlets, and has more people than the city of Buffalo. If you’re looking for a very tightly packed community, you’ve come to the right place.

William Levitt refused to sell his houses to anyone but Caucasians, and today the town is still mostly white. The Town of Hempstead is far more diverse, with about 60% white, 17% Hispanic, and 16% African American. Levitt also talked about building communities but preferred to build his houses, take his money and move on, leaving municipalities scrambling to provide services for the growing population. Today, however, the Town of Hempstead does a good job of providing services for all its villages and hamlets. Levitt and Sons went bankrupt in 2007.

There are three school districts in Levittown. The Levittown Union Free School District has six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools; US News & World Report ranked MacArthur High School 79th in NY and 622nd in the nation, and Division Avenue High School was ranked 146th in NY and 1160 in the nation.

The Island Trees Union Free School District has two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school; the Island Trees High School was ranked 304th in NY and 885th in the nation. A small area of Levittown is served by the East Meadow Union Free School District, with five elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. There are quite a few private as well as vocational schools as well.

The beach is big here; Jones Beach, the most popular beach on the East Coast, is in Hempstead. Popular destinations in Levittown are South Levittown Lanes, Governor’s Comedy Club, and Cue Nine Billiards & Restaurant. Faddy Malone’s Bar & Grill, a sports bar with a dance floor and karaoke on Wednesday nights, is open until 4 AM. Head to Newbridge Farms for gourmet grocery shopping, and Broadway Warehouse Liquors for a great selection of wines.

The best-rated local restaurants include Napolitano Brothers, Villa Carmela, Fortune Wheel Seafood Restaurant, Portofino Restaurant, Pat’s Pizza, Tropical Smoothie Café, Sang Sang Kitchen, Miller’s Ale House, Newbridge Farms, and Calda Pizza.

New Island Hospital is two miles away, in Bethpage. The North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, which is less than 25 minutes away, was rated the nation’s top hospital by AARP’s Modern Maturity magazine.

Commuters can catch a Long Island Rail Road train from nearby Bethpage or Hicksville (both approximately ten minutes away – unless there’s traffic) to Penn Station.
Pros
  • near Jones Beach
  • near good hospitals
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Turnpike traffic
  • congested
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Jul 10, 2012

"The birthplace of suburbia, still going strong"

As World War II drew to an end, builder William Levitt saw an opportunity. Young men, returning from war with their futures in mind, needed places to live. The rise of the automobile made it possible for people to move from cities to suburbs. Demand grew for affordable, well-built homes. Using a simple design and an assembly line-style approach inspired by William Levitt’s military experience, Levitt & Sons was able to build 30 houses a day. Building the homes on slab foundations instead of digging basements also hastened the process.

Today’s Levittown bears little resemblance to the early town. The original homes were predominantly built in two styles: small box-like Capes and ranches with attached carports. The designs lent themselves well to renovation and expansion, which most residents have taken advantage of. Unmodified homes are difficult to find. In recent years raising the roofline has become a trendy change, adding attic space and leading to the not-always-complimentary term “McLevitt”.

Despite its exterior changes, Levittown is still an active family community. Sports are very important, as evidenced by the large number of organizations. Little League Baseball and Levittown Athletic Club girls’ softball have been active since the 1950s. There are two soccer clubs, lacrosse, football and cheerleading. Levittown’s nine Joint District pools are free for residents, and offer free and low-cost swimming lessons. Jones Beach State Park is a short ride away, though it is very busy during the summer.

The majority of students attend the Levittown Public Schools, which are well-regarded. The district covers a 5.5 square mile area, which includes parts of Seaford and Wantagh. There are 7,700 students attending six elementary schools and two middle schools, where qualified students can take Regents exams, which count towards high school diplomas. There are also two high schools, as well as a career and technical high school with two-year programs. The smaller Island Trees UFSD has 2,600 students attending two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Like Levittown, they offer Regents exams in math and science at the middle school level.

Shopping is plentiful. Hempstead Turnpike is the primary retail corridor, ranging from Target, BJs, Kohls, and Old Navy, to the Tri-County Flea Market, which has evolved greatly since its opening in the early 1980s. Loews Nassau Metroplex, opened in the late 70s as “Loew’s Quad,” now has ten screens. Well-known chain restaurants, including TGIFridays, Denny’s and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, are relatively recent arrivals, but longtime favorite like Dominicos still serves up excellent Italian food and pizza.

The decline in the housing market has made Levittown more accessible. Fixer-uppers and small, unexpanded homes are priced in the low $200,000, a price not seen five years ago. Larger, updated homes are priced in the mid-$400s, with a lot of inventory in between. Though home prices have dropped considerably, school and property taxes remain high.

Though Levittown has changed and evolved since its early days, it remains a welcoming and friendly town.
Pros
  • Strong community spirit
  • Good schools
  • Lots of programs for kids
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Turnpike traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers