In an era in which building codes were rare, the VA's detailed regulations for GI Bill housing became the building code in many localities. To beat the VA's ,000 price cap, garages and basements had to go.Levitt houses were built on slabs, parking was at the curb.City streets were indeed mean: poorly lit and crumbling.There was yet no word for smog, but there was plenty of it — coal was the primary home heating fuel.Each crew does its own particular job, then rushes over to the next slab and does it all over again.Under this furious assault of men and machinery, new houses rise at an astounding rate — one finished house every 16 minutes.Every 60 feet they stop briefly in front of a just-cured 800 square foot slab of concrete and drop identical bundles of lumber, pipes, siding, bricks, shingles, tile and wiring. The bundles contain a foolproof house-building kit with everything needed to finish one house.Construction crews soon arrive in small, quiet groups, subdued by the early hour, and quickly go to work; raising walls, framing roofs, hanging Sheetrock and siding, laying brick, roofing and painting.
The yard was landscaped with trees and assorted shrubs, planted in several different arrangements.
he end of the Second World War brought a sea change to American housing that In just 20 short years altered the entire American landscape, creating whole new towns and cities where none had existed before, and inventing an entirely new American lifestyle.
By 1946, the demand for new housing had been growing for years. All of the "strategic" materials needed to build housing went to war with our armed forces and built barracks, airfields and officer's clubs from Burma to Murmansk.
They sell for ,990.00; .00 in closing costs and a .00 monthly mortgage payment — a mere 20% of a working man's income. With the same speed and efficiency that built airfields on Guadacanal and tank bridges over the Rhine, seasoned veterans of wartime construction brigades are quickly building a new kind of American city, and with it, a new American lifestyle.
Alfred Levitt designed his houses with an eye to mass production, and William Levitt, based on his experience in the Seabees building pre-fab structures for the Navy and Marines, broke down the building of a house into 26 discrete steps, each assigned to a subcontractor.