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Out of the City and Into the ‘Burbs

The Mission Newsletter, 10/30/18

“Same old boring Sunday morning, old men out washing their cars

Mum’s in the kitchen cooking Sunday dinner, Herberts still moaning for food

And Johnny’s upstairs in his bedroom sitting in the dark

Annoying the neighbors with his punk rock electric guitar

This is the sound, This is the sound of the suburbs.”

-The Members

Leaving the Suburbs

Bill’s house was a rancher with big windows in the front, a white chimney, and a driveway. It had a large front yard with green grass, a mix of trees, and flowering shrubs. He built the house on a gracefully curved road, so it didn’t feel like it was in the city.

Bill designed the house with his father and his brother, but none of them would ever live in it.

Then they built another… and another… and another.

Bill wanted every single American to be able to buy a house just like it. They built thousands of homes — entire cities of cookie-cutter replicas.

Now, these communities might sound familiar, like what you have seen in Pleasantville, The Sandlot, or Edward Scissorhands.

And that’s because that perfect little slice of suburbia is the vision of a single man.

His name was Bill Levitt.

Listen to Episode 7 of The Future of Cities!

Don’t miss the final 3 episodes!

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Out of the City and Into the ‘Burbs was originally published in The Mission on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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