Bowie, Maryland is a city located in Prince George's County, in the central part of the state. The city was named after Oden Bowie, who was the founder of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Company and a former governor of Maryland. Bowie was officially incorporated as a city in 1916, and it has a rich history that spans several centuries.
One of the most notable figures associated with the development of Bowie is William Levitt. Levitt was a real estate developer who is best known for his work on Levittown, New York, which was one of the first large-scale suburban housing developments in the United States that was built during the 1940's and 1950's. This community focused on affordable housing for families after World War 2. In addition to Levittown, New York, William Levitt also developed some other similar communities on the East coast. These include Levittown, Pennsylvania and Willingboro, New Jersey as well.
In the 1960s, Levitt turned his attention to Bowie, where he built a large planned community known as "Belair at Bowie". Levitt's vision for Bowie was to create a self-contained community that would offer affordable, high-quality housing to families. The community was designed with a range of amenities, including parks, shopping centers, and schools. Levitt also used innovative building techniques to construct homes quickly and efficiently, which helped to keep costs low while offering features such as natural gas heat, copper plumbing and central air conditioning.
Belair at Bowie was a huge success, and it helped to transform the city of Bowie into a thriving suburban community. Today, Bowie is known for its well-planned neighborhoods, excellent schools, and beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. The Levitt portion of Bowie is divided into sections where all of the street names begin with the same letter. You will often hear residents refer to living in the "B" or "R" section, etc. This simply means that all of the streets in that area start with the same letter. Each "section" was initially built with its own elementary school as well. Over time, several of those schools have been re-purposed or removed so elementary schools now serve students from multiple sections.