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Yonkers
New York, 10701 - 10710

           Philipse Manor Hall                  Yonkers Public Library           Yonkers Metro-North Station
Philipse Manor Hall. Recently Completed Yonkers Public Library The Yonkers Metro-North train station.

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Transportation:

The city is serviced by four Metro-North stations, Amtrak and Westchester County's Bee-Line bus service. Parking is available for the train at some of the stations.

Highways: The Saw Mill River Parway, the Cross Bronx Parkway, I-87 (The New York State Thruway), the Sprain Brook Parkway, The Cross County Parkway and many other smaller major roads service Yonkers.

About Yonkers:

The land on which the city is built was once part of a 24,000 acre (97 km²) land grant that ran from the current Manhattan/Bronx border at Marble Hill northwards for 12 miles (19 km), and from the Hudson River eastwards to the Bronx River. This grant was given in July of 1645 by New Netherland Director-General Willem Kieft to Adriaen van der Donck, originally named Colen Donck. Van der Donck was known locally as the Jonkheer (etymologically, "young gentleman"; in effect, "Squire"), a word from which the name "Yonkers" is directly derived. Van der Donck built a saw mill near where the Nepperhan Creek met the Hudson; the Nepperhan is now also known as the Saw Mill River.

Near the site of van der Donck's mill is Philipse Manor Hall, a Colonial-era manor house which today serves as a museum and archive, offering many glimpses into life before the American Revolution. For its first two hundred years, Yonkers was a small farming town with an active waterfront. Yonkers's later growth rested largely on developing industry. In 1853, the Otis Elevator Company, opened the first elevator factory in the world on the banks of the Hudson. A Kawasaki railroad cars assembly plant opened in 1986 in the former Otis plant, producing the new R142A and R160B cars for the New York City Subway, and the PA4 and upcoming PA5 series for PATH.

The Irish-American community plays a prominent role in Yonkers, and the city hosts one of the oldest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country. The city is also home to a large Italian-American community, many of whom moved to the city after originally settling in the Bronx and in Brooklyn. The city hosts a large Columbus Day festival with a Miss Italian-American pageant.

There also once was a significant Jewish population (the Broadway plays Hello Dolly! and Lost in Yonkers both take place within the Yonkers Jewish community). However, its size has dwindled (but not vanished) as the older generation dies off and the younger generation moves to the Sunbelt or to other (usually more affluent) parts of metropolitan New York City, with the trend accelerating after the housing integration court battles (see below). However, in recent years, some areas bordering similar neighborhoods in Riverdale are seeing an influx of Orthodox Jews.

Neighborhoods

Though Yonkers contains many small residential enclaves and communities, it can conveniently be divided into four quarters, demarcated by the Saw Mill River. There are roughly 28 or more distinct neighborhoods, but these names are only being used by Real Estate Agents, along with a few other natives.

Northeast Yonkers

This is a heavily Irish-American and Italian-American area. Though suburban, it is noticeably less so than the Town of Greenburgh to the north. House sizes vary widely, from small houses set close together, to some larger houses in areas like Lawrence Park. Tuckahoe Road, which intersects Central Avenue, contains many stores as well. Notable former residents include Steven Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith (born Steven Tallarico), whose childhood home was just off Central Avenue. Northeastern Yonkers contains the Crestwood section of Yonkers, as well as several other enclaves. Landmarks include St Vladimir's Seminary, the Tanglewood Shopping Center (one-time home of the Tanglewood Boys gang), as well as Sarah Lawrence College. The Lawrence Park and Cedar Knolls sections are unique in many ways from the rest of Northeast Yonkers. These two neighborhoods include more upscale housing and residents are generally commuters to Manhattan. This is mostly due to the promixity of various nearby Metro-North commuter railroad stations. Both sections are heavily white but unlike most other Yonkers neighborhoods are not dominated by any particular ethnicity. Because they share the zip code of the neighboring upscale village of Bronxville, many residents feel they are more a part of Bronxville than Yonkers even though they still pay taxes to and get services from the latter.

Northwest Yonkers

Northwest Yonkers is a collection of widely varying neighborhoods, spanning from the Hudson River to around the New York State Thruway/I-87 and from Ashburton Avenue north to the Hastings-on-Hudson border. With the Hudson River bordering it to the west, this area has many beautiful Victorian era homes with panoramic views of the Palisades. An interest in historic preservation has taken hold in this neighborhood in recent years, as demonstrated on streets like Shonnard Terrace, Delavan Place and Hudson View Terrace. The population of northwestern Yonkers is probably the most ethnically diverse in the city.

Landmarks include the Hudson River Museum, Untermeyer Park and the Lenoire Nature Preserve. The significant amount of surviving Victorian architecture and 19th century estates in northwest Yonkers has attracted many filmmakers here in recent years.

This part of Yonkers is often referred to, by local residents as "The End" as it was once the end of the #2 trolley line. One part of Yonkers that is sometimes overlooked is Nepera Park. This is a small section at the northern part of Nepperhan Av on the Hastings on Hudson border.

Southeast Yonkers

Southeast Yonkers is mostly Irish-American (a lot of the Irish being native born) and a good amount of Italian-Americans. Much of the architecture and types of stores in the area cause southeastern Yonkers to bear a greater resemblance to certain parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island than to points north. This is not surprising as southeastern Yonkers is largely within walking distance of the Riverdale, Woodlawn and Wakefield sections of the Bronx. Many residents regard eastern McLean Avenue, home to a vibrant Irish community shared with the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, to be the true hub of Yonkers. Similarly, a portion of Midland Avenue in the Dunwoodie section has been called the "Little Italy" of Yonkers. Landmarks of southeastern Yonkers include the Cross County Shopping Center, Yonkers Raceway, and St. Joseph's Seminary in the Dunwoodie neighborhood, which was visited by Pope John Paul II in October of 1995.

Southwest Yonkers

Some argue that this area in Yonkers has suffered from past economic, political, and social challenges that hindered many positive social changes. At present, the area reveals a recent decrease in crime rate and a juxtapostion of poverty and revitalization that many would argue mirrors newly gentrified neighborhoods of New York City's Harlem and Brooklyn. Off of South Broadway (a major thoroughfare) one can find residential neighborhoods, such as Nodine Hill, Park Hill, and Hudson Park (off the Hudson River) with residential streets of turn-of-the-century mansions, and upscale luxury rentals and condominiums. Other upscale neighborhoods are Ludlow Park, Hudson Park & Van Cortlandt Crest, off Riverdale Ave, right over the Riverdale border - the former alongside the Hudson River. The area is also home to the historic Phillips Manor, the Hudson River Museum with its Andrus Planetarium and a state of the art Yonkers Public Library with panoramic Hudson River views.

Many southwesterners are of African, Caribbean, Italian, or Hispanic decent while an influx those from other cultural backgrounds has continued to shape a culturally diverse community. Some neighborhoods right on the Riverdale border are increasingly becoming home to Orthodox Jews. The revitalization of the downtown Yonkers/Getty Square area has helped to nurture growth for Southwest Yonkers. In the early 2000s several new luxury apartment buildings were built along the Hudson, as well as a new monument park, renovation of a Victorian-era pier, a new public library housed in the remodeled Otis elevator factory. Many new projects are intended to revitalize downtown Yonkers.

Amidst a growing need for increased economic viability in Yonkers, a vast revitalization project proposal, promising to add luxury housing, waterfront development, commercial and retail space, has been designed for the city. With hopes of increasing the city's tourism and economic importance in the state and county, the project is one of the largest revitalization projects ever proposed for any locality within the New York Metropolitan Area, totaling more than $3 billion.

The project is headed by Westchester County's Louis R. Cappelli, Struever Bros. of Baltimore, and New Jersey's Fidelco Realty. The project is expected to include a controversial Minor League Baseball stadium, and an expansive retail and residential project, adding approximately 800 residential units throughout the downtown area and the waterfront. The community's strong opposition to plans for high rise buildings along their waterfront is so far being ignored by both developers and city government.

The project has as its catalyst the "daylighting" of the now buried Saw Mill River, an idea championed by community-based organizations like Groundwork Yonkers and its Saw Mill River Coalition. The Pataki Administration at Scenic Hudson's urging contributed $34 million in funds for daylighting. The concept of a river accompanied by a natural greenway path and commercial development has been successful in the revitalization

* Some content provided by wikipedia.org.