Mass-produced, often prefabricated house
set on a development
. In the Northeast
, these are generally from the Fifties
onward and are based on the clapboard
styles of Cape Cod
) and the vernacular
style of Surrey
, in England
, on streets with names drawn from kinds of trees (or, rarely, the names of the real estate developer
The most famous tract houses in America are in three communities, one in Pennsylvania, one in New Jersey, and one in New York State, all called Levittown which were at the time, considered nearly totalitarian in their sameness: each house had an identical appearance and floor plan, with five and a half rooms, an unfinished attic, no basement, and a built-in TV, along with other appliances. Each sold for $5000 in 1947.
Amazingly, Levittown is almost unrecognizable today: since Levitt houses were so easy to remodel, and the ground so fertile, it is almost impossible to find one in pristine condition, with no improvements made on the property. Each Levitt house now bears the stamp of fifty years of living, and is unique -- a lesson to us all, I suppose.