Just about every family has a picture of their kidlets playing with adult shoes. What makes this picture worth sharing is everything in it that isn’t me and my mother’s shoes. Specifically it is a picture of the floor to ceiling windows that ran along the fronts and backs of the “Levittowner” model of ranch house built in 1953, the very mid-century modern coffee table that my parents bought to furnish this trendily modern post-war tract house, and the fireplace which was central to the living area.
The Levittowner houses were open concept sixty years before anyone coined that term. Half the house was three tiny bedrooms with one bathroom. The other half was one big room with this modern brick behemoth down the center. In one corner were kitchen appliances. Everything else was just open space. I am standing in the living room. Behind me is the kitchen area, and the reflection of the darn flash bulb that washes out the details of my face and clothes. In 1953 and later versions of this house, the fireplace is open on two sides. In the 1952 version of this house the same fireplace is open on three sides. But all versions of this house have this huge brick thing as a defining feature of the home. | Click image for Comments.
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