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Growing Up in Levittown, PA
What is Levittown, PA?
Levittown, Pennsylvania is one of the biggest suburbs of Philadelphia. It was designed to offer affordable housing to returning WWII vets and those that wanted to move out of the city of Philadelphia. Everything about Levittown, PA was attractive to many families. The prices, the community, the shopping areas. It was built to sell and the houses where comfortable and modern at that time.
Levittown, PA is made up of over 40 'sections'. Each section has a name, for instance, Indian Creek. All the road in that section are named with the first letter of the section name (Indigo Rd.) Every section has a Drive (Indian Creak Drive) from which each street intersects. Just about every section had an Elementary School, playground, and 'green space'. It was the perfect place to raise a family.
My Family's Beginnings in Levittown, PA
My paternal grandparents left Philadelphia when my grandfather came home from WWII. They bought a brand new Levittown house in the 1950's. They moved my father and aunt to a nice little Jubilee Levittown house in Vermillion Hills section. My grandmother lived in the house until she was 79 years old, at which time she sold it to my cousin. I am happy the house still remains in our family.
My mother came to American when she was 9 years old. When her and my father bought their first house, it was in the Cobalt Ridge section of Levittown, PA. I still remember the house, my room, and the fun times we had with all the other kids in the section.
Life As A Kid in Levittown, PA
I grew up in Cobalt Ridge and Indian Creek sections of Levittown. Both sections hold a lot of memories for me. As a young child, Cobalt Ridge provided my Elementary School within walking distance, playgrounds to play with my friends, and the security of neighbors always looking out for all the kids.
The houses in Levittown sit on approximately .25 of an acre of land, so neighbors are plenty. When I was growing up in the 70's and 80's, you not only had to be wary of your parents catching you doing something wrong, your neighbors where not afraid to take matters in their own hands if they caught you! Kids would run up and down the sidewalks, riding their bikes, big wheels, or skateboards. Night time consisted of manhunt or alligator (wow, remember those games?) In the winter, there were hills near the parks that you could spend the day sledding down. The apron of the drive way would have a HUGE mound of snow piled from the plow trucks and the sidewalk shoveling. These mounds quickly turned into igloos and shelters for you so you could take cover when the kids across the street started a snowball fight!
As a teen, you think there is just nothing to do in Levittown. And truly, there isn't. There are shops, and fast food places, but you have to go a town or two over to get to a mall. Looking back though, it was great to walk down the street to meet up with your best friend, and then walk down another street to hang out with another friend. They were all in walking distance.
Interesting Items About Levittown, PA
Levittown, PA Today...
I have since moved out of Levittown. Mainly for the simple fact that I like a lot of land. The sections now are different. It used to be that every house looked just about the same, but now there are hardly any house that look as they did in the 40's. Some would say that is a good thing, but I like the old home look.
The traffic in the area is picking up and the neighbors are not as close knit as they used to be. It is sad, but also understandable as most families are now two income families trying to make ends meet. Most of the playgrounds are either gone or completely redone to reflect new safety codes, the community pools are all closed up with the exception of one. The original Levittown shopping center, which at one time was THE place to shop is starting to make a come back.
One Last Thought on Levittown, PA
Besides GIs looking for a place to raise their families, many steel workers also came to Levittown with their families. Just about one person in each family worked at the local steel mill a few miles away. My father's generation was part of that, as he worked there for many years. Once the mill shut down, there was a bit of an exodus from the area. Very sad, but Levittown has and will always live on. There will always be an influx in the Levittown, PA of families that want to raise their children in an area like this.