The Cool House: Levittown
Showing posts with label Levittown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Levittown. Show all posts

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Modernism on Long Island*

* including a personal surprise

Studio Proprietor John J. Fondrisi with Account Executives Melissa Beck (left) and Denise Garcia at the DWR Roslyn Leap into modern Long Island Event, February 29 2008.

Lovers of architecture and design were celebrating modernism on Long Island last night with a showing of the documentary "History Along the Turnpike: Levittown," by Richard Altamonte. Responding to a shortage of housing for returning World War II veterans, Levitt & Sons built 17,447 Cape Cod and ranch style houses between 1947 and 1951. Although tiny by today's standards at 750-800 sq ft, the houses were designed to be readily extended and came equipped with Bendix washing machines, Tracy All-steel cabinets and Themopane Insulated glass. All this and a TV built into the space under the stairwell for $7,990. Incidentally, some of Levitt's innovative ideas were influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright on a house in Great Neck, NY.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the film were the interior shots of the homes with their now iconic furniture. The Noguchi table designed in 1947 was the centerpiece of one living room, while others featured the Eames Eiffel Chairs and George Nelson clocks. The DWR team showcased the designs with screenings of the films of Charles and Ray Eames and a draw to win a George Nelson clock and a copy of his classic book How to See.

The DWR studios are great venues for screening movies, after all you get to test out the comfort of their furniture for a good while, check out the lighting in the dark rather than daylight and they provide great nibbles, not just cheese and wine but salami, vegetables and dips, too. And you meet other lovers of modern design and architecture. At last night's event we had a totally unexpected meeting with the architect Joe Scarpella and his wife Diane who, it turned out, had almost bought The Cool House in 2004. How's that for a coincidence?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Leap into modern Long Island

On Leap Day, February 29 2008, Design Within Reach, Roslyn, Long Island will be offering a taste of modernism with the screening of Robert Altamonte's film “History Along the Turnpike: Levittown”.
There will also be an opportunity to win a George Nelson clock and a copy of Nelson’s book, “How to See.” Oh, and wine and cheese, too. It sounds like a must-do for lovers of mid-century modernism.
Contact DWR for more details.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Levittown, Long Island

It's 60 years since Levitt & Sons announced plans to build a community on Long Island to provide housing for returning WWII GIs. The New York Times has an very interesting slideshow depicting the original Cape Cod style houses and some of the remodeled and much enlarged versions you can see today.
Detailed information about America's first suburban community can be found at The Levittown Historical Society.