Island Trees Give Way to Island Homes

Aerial view of Island Trees area before construction of Levitt homes

Aerial photograph of Island Trees area prior to the construction of the Levitt & Sons development.

Levitt & Sons needed land to realize their dream, and their gaze turned towards the wide-open spaces of the Hempstead Plains. This area was known as Island Trees, a name going back to at least 1747. The area was a collection of potato fields in a largely undeveloped farming community. Levitt & Sons began buying up the land in Island Trees and announced their intention to create a large housing development in the area in 1947.

The development was to be a “stabilized community,” a neighborhood that featured restrictive covenants for residents, zoned shopping areas, and recreation facilities.

Levitt & Sons won permission from the Hempstead Town Board to build cellarless houses situated atop radiant-heated cement slabs, despite the necessity of the town board changing building restriction to do so. The company broke ground on the development in the spring of 1947.

Island Trees Give Way to Island Homes