Yonkers, New York Renaissance on the Hudson

After years of dissent, racial and economic woes and political infighting, Yonkers, Westchester County’s largest city and New York State’s fourth most populous town, has transformed itself into a vibrant residential community and a prime destination for those wanting to be close to the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Boasting a population of over 200,000, Yonkers borders the New York City borough of the Bronx and is two miles north of Manhattan at the cities’ closest points. Although Yonkers is home to numerous residential enclaves it can conveniently be divided into four sections; Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest.

A massive revitalization project is in full swing in Yonkers that is expected to include nearly 1,000 luxury residential units on the waterfront, a minor league baseball stadium and a new Yonkers Fire Department headquarters building. The project is headed by Westchester County developer Louis R. Cappelli, Struever Bros. of Baltimore, and New Jersey's Fidelco Realty.

Thanks to daylighting (the restoration of rivers that have been covered up by concrete) on November 15, 2011, waters began to flow above ground in Yonkers for the first time in 90 years. With the aboveground riverbed more than 13,775 square feet of aquatic habitat including a tidal pool and two freshwater pools have been recreated. The project has enormous ecological, economic and cultural significance for the city.

Dutch Treaty

In the mid-1600s, the Dutch West India Company issued the young nobleman Adriaen Van der Donck, a lawyer, scholar and author, a grant to settle the New Netherland colony. Van der Donck was known locally as the Jonkheer, or from the German “jung herr” as “young gentleman.” Over the years the name evolved from the Jonk Herr’s Land to The Younckers, and eventually to the present day Yonkers.

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Comments

  • Patricia Fennessey Cala on Saturday, February 20, 2016 6:19 AM
    Great article and beautiful picture of Neperhan River. It is a beautiful place to live, how many communities have a view of the Hudson River looking towards the Palisades. What happened to Getty Square? There were community activities that helped us to see that we were a happy place: The school boys race. The Halloween Parade. Holiday Parades. Linden Street Pool. Where there showers provided for familys that had no facilities or they shared toilets. Old Yonkers High School housed the families of World War II military. The Armory on North Broadway for the National Guard. South of Getty Square, where one policeman directed traffic. We all respected him and we made sure to behave. All the trolleys, up the streets to take us to school and work. I don't think the snow ever stopped them. The Organizations that catered to children's activities: Catholic Youth Organization, Jewish Community Center, Young Women's Organization (YWCA). YMCA on Riverdale Ave. St. Joseph Hospital, St. Mary's Church and School. And who could forget the trolly. Music lessons and Mr. Grant's dance school in South Yonkers. Going up North Broadway was Millionaires Row. Check it out.