Castle Hill, Bronx
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Castle Hill is primarily a residential neighborhood geographically located in the South Central section of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9. Its boundaries, starting from the North and moving clockwise are: Waterbury and Westchester Avenues to the North, Westchester Creek to the east, the East River to the South, and White Plains Road to the West. Castle Hill Avenue runs from East Tremont Avenue in the north to Castle Hill Park in the south. ZIP codes include 10473, 10472, and 10462. The area is patrolled by the 43rd Precinct located at 900 Fteley Avenue. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 8 at 2794 Randall Avenue.
Castle Hill is a high density, urban neighborhood. The area has a relatively diverse population; primarily consisting of African Americans, and Latin Americans, most predominantly Puerto Ricans (Castle Hill has one of the highest concentrations of Puerto Ricans in all of New York City). Like most neighborhoods in New York City the vast majority of households are renter occupied. There is significant income diversity on a block by block basis.
Land use and terrain
Castle Hill is dominated by multi-unit, 2 and 3 story homes and apartment buildings. In the 1990s and 2000s, construction of modern 2 and 3 unit row-houses and apartment buildings have increased the percentage of owners versus renters. There is also a slither of industry located along the Hutchinson River and Zerega Avenue. The area gradually comes to peak elevation along Castle Hill Avenue. The Castle Hill Avenue Business Improvement District was started with the assistance of Councilwoman Annabel Palma and James Vacca in June 2012.
Relatively undeveloped, the neighborhood began sprouting along the now defunct Castle Hill Avenue street-car system. Later, the neighborhood became more dense surrounding the construction of the Westchester Avenue Elevated. Castle Hill soon became home to many European immigrants looking for an alternative to the overpopulated immigrant communities found in Lower Manhattan. Traditionally an urban working-class neighborhood, an influx of lower-income earners and Latin American migrants beginning mid century diversified the income profile. Like most neighborhoods in NYC, the area went through a period of decay beginning in the 1950s and 1960s with a flight of moderate-income earners. The worst of this flight occurred in the areas surrounding the Castle Hill Houses, a massive low-income public housing development. Since the late 1980s, but especially in the 2000s, significant renewal has taken place. Many new residential and mixed use properties have been constructed and formally abandoned properties rehabilitated. For example, a New York City project to change the water pipes throughout the neighborhood has rejuvenated the area by rebuilding all sidewalks and renewing the asphalt in all of the streets.
- Public schools
- PS 138 Samuel Randall School (K-5)
- PS 36 - Unionport School (K-5)
- PS/MS 194
- Private and parochial schools
- St. John Vianney Cure of Ars School (now closed)
- Holy Family School (Pre K-8)
- Saint Raymond High School For Boys
- St. Raymond Academy for Girls, an all-girls', catholic high school
- Special education programs
- New LIFE School (5-8)
- Public Library Branch
- The Castle Hill Library, located at 947 Castle Hill Avenue (at Bruckner Blvd.), is a neighborhood branch within the New York Public Library system.
Parks and recreation
- On the southern end of Castle Hill Avenue is Castle Hill Point Park. The renovated greenspace features boat ramps, fishing piers, and spectacular views of the Throgs Neck and Whitestone Bridges.
- Castle Hill YMCA (the only YMCA in the Bronx), which features indoor and outdoor pools, a baseball field, basketball court, gym and an outdoor sitting area with a great view of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.
- The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club (Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse) located at 1930 Randall Avenue, which, among other things, features an ice skating rink.
- Bx4: to Westchester Square or Third Avenue-149th Street subway stations (via Westchester Avenue)
- Bx5: to Pelham Bay Park or Simpson Street subway station (via Bruckner Boulevard and Story Avenue)
- Bx22: to Bronx High School of Science (via Fordham Road/ Castle Hill Avenue)
- Bx36: to George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal (via East 180th Street)
- Bx39: to Gun Hill Road subway station or Clason Point (via White Plains Road)
- Q44: to Bronx Zoo or Jamaica, Whitestone, Flushing (via Bronx-Whitestone Bridge)
- BxM8: Express bus, to Pelham Bay or Midtown Manhattan
- Castle Hill Avenue subway station (6 <6> trains)
- Bruckner Expressway
In popular culture
The Castle Hill Hall of Fame is a hall of fame for notable natives of Castle Hill. It was officially created on June 9, 2006, and announced the sole induction of Jennifer Lopez. Her fame and donations was the reason for the creation of the Hall of Fame. Inductees are only chosen based on their contributions to Castle Hill's history.The Castle Hill community center is currently in the process of building a hall of fame. The community center had been storing memorabilia in a warehouse for years, with all items categorized and dated in case a facility is not created. John Lee is the only posthumous inductee.
Some other notable natives are listed below:
- Jennifer Lopez "J-Lo" (1969-) - musician and actress, raised on 2210 Blackrock Avenue Castle Hill Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2006,1st ballot.
- Remy Ma (1980-) - female rapper, was raised in the Castle Hill Houses. Castle Hill Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2007,1st ballot.
- Kenny Satterfield (1981-) - former NBA player with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Dallas Mavericks. Castle Hill Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2007.
- Darrin Dewitt Henson(1972-) - actor and choreographer, was raised in Castle Hill area. Castle Hill Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2008
- Big Dennis Rivera (1969-) - Radio on air personality and producer, raised in Castle Hill area. Castle Hill area Class of 2008.
- Kimba (1960-) One of the first female Mc's of hip hop. Member of Grammy award winner GrandMixer D.st's group Infinity Four Mc's. Chief Operating Officer at Jam Master Jay Foundation for youth. Raised in Castle Hill Projects.
- LIVING IN | CASTLE HILL, THE BRONX. Still Easy to Get to; Now Safer to Be In There. The New York Times. Published: January 16, 2009
- Rocchio, Patrick (June 12, 2012). "Merchant Development Program begins". Bronx Times Reporter. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- Bronx Castle Hill Houses NYC.gov
- Plambeck, Joseph (16 January 2009). "Still Easy to Get to; Now Safer to Be In". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- Kochman, Ben (December 6, 2013). "Castle Hill's Ladder 47 turns 100". Bronx Times Reporter. p. 34. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
- "Ladder 47 in Castle Hill celebrates 100-year anniversary". News 12 The Bronx. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
- "The Pope of Greenwich Village". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-12-23.