Harrison, New York
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|— Coterminous town/village —|
|• Total||17.4 sq mi (45.0 km2)|
|• Land||16.8 sq mi (43.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)|
|Elevation||69 ft (21 m)|
|• Density||1,600/sq mi ( 610/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0977345|
Harrison was established in 1696 by John Harrison, who was given 24 hours to ride his horse around an area which would become his, to fill an owe the King had to him. Because Harrison had to travel by horse the town contains no waterways that could not be forded on horseback. The town gets its name from Mr. Harrison, and was incorporated as a town on March 7, 1788, by an act of the New York State legislature.
Merritt's Hill in West Harrison was the site of the Battle of White Plains during the Revolutionary War. Regiment 182 of the Continental Army, of the 367 regiments there, was the Harrison Regiment, composed solely of people from Harrison.
During the 1830s, David Haviland settled in Harrison where he produced Haviland China which he sold in his store in New York City before returning to his native France. Today there exists a Haviland Street in a neighborhood of Harrison known as "The Trails", whose only street marker looks rather quite older than the rest in the town, composed of wrought iron in scrolled shapes.
In 1867 Benjamin Holladay purchased the land that is now Manhattanville College in Purchase. On the property is a Norman-style Roman Catholic chapel built for his wife. There is also Reid Castle, once called the Ophir House, before being renamed for a later purchaser. The castle hosted the King and Queen of Siam in the early 1930s.
Railroads and the Industrial Revolution 
What is now the Metro-North Railroad, running from Manhattan, New York City, to Greenwich, Connecticut, first came through Harrison in 1848, though the first station was not built until 1870. Before that time, Harrisonites had to flag down the train to get a ride. Harrison remained generally free of factories through the Industrial Revolution, while large factory districts grew in the neighboring towns of White Plains, Port Chester and Mamaroneck.
In 1929, the Hutchinson River Parkway was extended to Harrison.
Attempt to incorporate Purchase as a village 
In 1967 200 residents stated support for a plan to incorporate Purchase, a community in Harrison, so corporations could not build in the community. In response, officials from the Town of Harrison put forward plans to try to become a city in an attempt to stop Purchase from seceding from Harrison.
Passidomo as mayor and town supervisor 
John A. Passidomo (1921–2005) was first elected Mayor in 1965 by only 67 votes. Re-elected eight times, he served until 1983 when he resigned to become Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. In his two and a half years at that job, he helped pass one of the nation's first seat-belt laws despite the law's unpopularity.
Harrison's "Platinum Mile", a string of corporate office parks along I-287 in the Purchase section of Harrison, developed under Passidomo. The mayor played an instrumental role in attracting large corporations such as PepsiCo, MasterCard and Texaco.
Purchase's attempt to secede from Harrison 
In the early 1970s under Passidomo's supervisorship, a group in the Purchase section of town, concerned about the town's overdevelopment, attempted to incorporate as a village and thereby separate from the town of Harrison. Creatively, to avoid being served papers that would have begun the legal proceedings for Purchase to incorporate as a village, Passidomo entered his office through the fire escape. Passidomo then immediately saw to it that the town Harrison became a village while still remaining as a town, putting an end to the possibility of Purchase's secession since a village cannot legally be formed in another village.
List of supervisors/mayors 
The list begins at 1965, however there were mayors before that.
- John Passidomo 1965–1983
- Charles Balancia 1990–1994
- Philip A. Marraccini (R) 1994–1998
- Ronald Bianchi (D) 1998–2002
- Stephen Malfitano (R) 2002–2008
- Joan Walsh (D) 2008–2011
- Ronald Belmont (R) 2012-
Harrison is a town and village in Westchester County, New York, approximately 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Manhattan, New York City. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town (and coterminous village) has a total area of 17.4 square miles (45 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (44 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), or 3.22%, is water. The population was 27,472 at the 2010 census.
Harrison is bordered by White Plains, Rye town, Rye city and Mamaroneck. The New England Thruway (I-95) runs through the town (without any interchanges), as well as the Cross Westchester Expressway and the Hutchinson River Parkway. I-684 passes through Harrison and ends at the Cross Westchester Expressway and the Hutchinson Parkway.
|Climate data for Harrison, NY|
|Average high °F (°C)||35
|Average low °F (°C)||21
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.78
|Source: The Weather Channel|
At the 2000 census, there were 24,154 people, 8,394 households and 6,186 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,435.2 per square mile (554.1/km2). There were 8,680 housing units at an average density of 515.8 per square mile (199.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 89.78% White, 1.43% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 5.44% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.59% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.70% of the population.
Harrison is also known for its large Italian American population.
There were 8,394 households of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.20.
24.5% of residents were under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
According to a 2009 estimate, the median household income was $104,640, and the median family income was $130,224. The per capita income for the village was $63,742. About 4.2% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
Areas and neighborhoods 
The boundaries of the town of Harrison are the approximate shape of a figure-eight. The southern half is known as simply Harrison, or downtown, while the hamlet of Purchase is located in the northern portion of the town. "West Harrison" is a neighborhood south of Purchase, further west, bounded by Silver Lake, the Brae Burn Golf Course, and I-287. The "downtown" southern half of Harrison is divided into four general areas: The Brentwood, Sunnyridge, Sterling Ridge/The Trails, and South Downtown.
West Harrison is an isolated community, lodged between a tall hill bordered by a lake, Interstate 287, a tall relatively steep hill, and a cliff at the northern edge. Because of this, there is a general lack of street entrances. There is really only one road into it, although there are a few other "back" ways into it. The road is called Lake Street, flanked on one side by Silver Lake Park, bordering the lake, and by a small business district on the other side of the street. West Harrison contains the Passidomo Veterans Memorial Park and Pool and the Leo Mintzer Center. West Harrison also contains the site of the Battle of White Plains from the Revolutionary War. Silver Lake is also the home of Buckout Road, which was said to have been a home of witches, albinos, and slaughters.
Purchase is a more secluded area of Harrison, with winding roads and deep woods. The houses are larger, in often cases whole swatches of land developed in the late twentieth century, and early 2000s, comparing to the age of the rest of the town.
Downtown is split into the four sections mentioned above, and is flanked by Interstate 95, the Hutchinson River Parkway, and the Metro-North Railroad. The manmade lines create isolation to areas, with few areas to cross each. Harrison's only middle school and only High School, Harrison High School, are located in the "downtown" area. The four areas of downtown, as separated by the boundaries of Interstate 95 and the railroad tracks as well as separated by wealth gaps, are very diverse. Despite its name, "Downtown" is not in any sense a business district, it is much rather a residential enclave, featuring houses of every wealth level.
Harrison Central School District operates four public elementary schools. Purchase School serves Purchase, Preston School serves West Harrison, and Parsons School serves South Downtown. The fourth school, Harrison Avenue School, serves the remaining area of "Downtown", Sunnyridge, Sterling Ridge/The Trails, and The Brentwood.
Colleges and universities 
The State University of New York at Purchase and Manhattanville College are located in Purchase. In 2008, Fordham University opened its Westchester campus in West Harrison on 32 landscaped acres with a stream and pond.
Places of worship 
Places of worship in Harrison include:
Roman Catholic 
- St. Gregory the Great Church in Harrison
- St. Anthony of Padua Church in West Harrison
Orthodox Christians 
- Greek Orthodox Church of Our Savior
- All Saints Church in Harrison
- Harrison Presbyterian Church in Harrison
- Young Israel of Harrison
- Harrison Jewish Community Center
Fire department 
Harrison is protected by two all-volunteer and one combination fire districts. The Harrison Fire Department being the combination department, the West Harrison Fire Department, and the Purchase Fire Department being all volunteer. The total fire apparatus amount in the town/village is; three trucks, ten engines, three rescues, and many other special units. The City of Rye Fire Department also protects a part of Harrison between Interstate 287 and Westchester County Club. The RFD is also a combination department. Altogether, there are 4 fire department that protect Harrison.
There are several cemeteries in the downtown, including many small family plots dating back to the 17th century and before. Greenwood Union Cemetery is a cemetery shared by the city of Rye.
There is also the Small Roman Catholic Cemetery dating back to when Harrison was first discovered in the 17th century. It is located right on the border of Rye and Harrison. This was a domain for Indian burials.
Country clubs 
The Westchester Country Club, Willow Ridge Country Club, and Apawamis Golf Club are all located in Harrison. All three of them are next to each other in the southern half ("downtown") portion of the town. A portion of Apawamis, including its entrance is located in Rye, N.Y.
Corporate headquarters 
These include the MasterCard headquarters, MasterCard International Global Headquarters, and Pepsico. Atlas Air and subsidiary Polar Air Cargo have their headquarters in Purchase. Texaco's headquarters, a 750,000-square-foot (70,000 m2) building, was in Harrison. In 2002, after Chevron and Texaco merged, Chevron sold the former Texaco headquarters to Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley bought the building and the surrounding 107 acres (0.43 km2) for $42 million. Previously, Lenovo had its U.S. headquarters in Purchase. In 2006, the company announced it was moving to Morrisville, North Carolina.
Media and culture 
- Harrison was used as a filming location in the movie Riding In Cars With Boys.
Notable people 
- Lou Bender (1910–2009), pioneer player with the Columbia Lions and in early pro basketball, who was later a successful trial attorney.
- Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the aviatrix lived in Purchase while she was married to publisher George Putnam, and a monument consisting of a bronze plaque with a propeller attached to a stone, was laid in a small park in Harrison after she became teh first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
- Tex Fletcher (1909–1987), a singing cowboy with credits as a recording artist, Broadway and movie actor, night club performer, and radio and television personality.
- Ralph Friedgen (born 1947), former head football coach at the University of Maryland from 2001 to 2010.
- Bobby Gonzalez, former men's basketball coach for the Seton Hall Pirates.
- Rick Marotta, famous studio drummer and composer of the theme song for Everybody Loves Raymond.
- John McGillicuddy (1930-2009), CEO of Chemical Bank in the 1990s.
- George P. Putnam (1887-1950), publisher and husband of Amelia Earhart.
- Mariano Rivera (born 1969), pitcher with the New York Yankees.
- Gene Sarazen (1902-1999, born Eugenio Saraceni) American golfer.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Harrison town, Westchester County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- "200 Residents Back Plan to Incorporate Village of Purchase." The New York Times. April 4, 1967. Retrieved on February 2, 2011.
- Folsom, Merrill. "HARRISON MOVING TO BECOME A CITY; Town Acts to Thwart Effort by Purchase to Secede and Form Own Village." The New York Times. May 20, 1967. Page 37. Retrieved on February 2, 2011.
- Feron, James (1983-03-06), "PASIDOMO DISCUSSES NEW ALBANY POST", The New York Times: 11–6, ISSN 0362-4331, retrieved June 6, 2009
- Madden, Richard L. (1985-02-01), "A REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: GOVERNORS AND SEAT BELTS", The New York Times: B2, ISSN 0362-4331, retrieved June 6, 2009
- "Monthly Averages for Harrison, NY (10528)". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- BUCKOUT ROAD – history, urban legends, hauntings, ghosts – Westchester County alleged haunted road
- Westchester Campus and Facilities, Fordham University. Accessed March 19, 2009
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "Contact Us." MasterCard. Retrieved on February 2, 2011. "MasterCard Advisors 2000 Purchase Street Purchase, NY 10577."
- "Harrison town, New York." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 18, 2010.
- "10577 5-Digit ZCTA, 105 3-Digit ZCTA." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 8, 2010.
- "Our 10 Most Beautiful Buildings." Westchester Magazine. November 17, 2010. Retrieved on February 1, 2011.
- "Investor Information." Atlas Air. Retrieved on August 6, 2011. "AAWW Investor Relations 2000 Westchester Avenue Purchase, NY 10577-2543"
- "Contact Us." Polar Air Cargo. Retrieved on February 13, 2011. "Atlas Air / Polar Air Cargo – Headquarters 2000 Westchester Avenue Purchase, NY 10577 USA"
- Brenner, Elsa. "IN BUSINESS; Morgan Stanley Seals Deal on Texaco Headquarters." The New York Times. Sunday March 31, 2002. Retrieved on October 3, 2009.
- "Harrison village, New York." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 3, 2009.
- "Contact Us." Texaco. December 5, 1998. Retrieved on October 3, 2009. TexaTexaco Inc. 2000 Westchester Ave White Plains, New York 10650."
- Hogan, Patrick. "Lenovo shifting U.S. headquarters to Morrisville, but will cut 300-350 Triangle jobs." Triangle Business Journal. Thursday March 16, 2006. Updated Friday March 17, 2006. p.1. Retrieved on October 12, 2012.
- Mallozzii, Vincent M. "Lou Bender, Columbia Star Who Helped Popularize Basketball in New York, Dies at 99", The New York Times, September 12, 2009. Accessed September 13, 2009.
- "Amelia Earhart at a tribute in her honor in Harrison, New York, 1932.", Purdue University. Accessed April 22, 2013. "The memorial commemorated Earhart's record of being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (George Palmer Putnam at far right)."
- Staff. "MRS. PUTNAM HOME; GETS CITY'S HOMAGE; Greeted Down Bay by Swooping Planes, Cheered by Throngs and Decorated by Mayor. ESCAPED SPIN IN STORM But She Belitties Hazards and Calls Hop 'Personal Gesture' -- Hoover Welcome Today. Flier Smiling and Modest in Round of Greetings", The New York Times, June 21, 1932. Accessed April 22, 2013. "The Putnam home is in Harrison, but the garden juts across the line to Rye."
- Warren, Tim. "It turns out that Ol' Tex was born in Harrison, NY, and was christened Geremino Bisceglia by his Italian-immigrant parents.", The Washington Post, April 9, 2008. Accessed April 22, 2013. "It turns out that Ol' Tex was born in Harrison, NY, and was christened Geremino Bisceglia by his Italian-immigrant parents."
- Staff. "Ralph Friedgen through the years", The Baltimore Sun, December 20, 2010. Accessed April 22, 2013. "Born in Harrison, N.Y. His father, 'Big Ralph' Friedgen, had played football with Vince Lombardi at Fordham and was a high school coach."
- via Associated press. "Hoops coach denies shoplift", New York Post, July 22, 2010. Accessed April 22, 2013. "Former Seton Hall basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez pleaded not guilty yesterday to shoplifting a satchel at a shopping mall last month in New Jersey.Gonzalez spoke during his five-minute arraignment in Newark only to verify his address in Harrison, Westchester County."
- Barry, John W. "Uncle Funk steeped in R&B groove", The Poughkeepsie Journal, April 9, 2004. Accessed April 22, 2013. "But perhaps the most important cue that Marotta took from his brother was when he followed those larger footsteps up to the attic of the family's house in Harrison."
- Dash, Eric. "John F. McGillicuddy, 78, Banking Leader, Is Dead", The New York Times, January 6, 2009. Accessed April 22, 2013. "John F. McGillicuddy, who assembled one of first big bank mergers in the wave of consolidation that emerged from the economic slump of the early 1990s, the one between Manufacturers Hanover and Chemical Bank, died on Sunday at his home in Harrison, N.Y."
- Klein, Melissa. "Thousands attend Thanksgiving parade", The Journal News, November 23, 2003. Accessed April 22, 2013. "Rivera lived in New Rochelle from 1996 to 1999 and now lives in Harrison."
- http://www.worldgolfhalloffame.org/hof/member.php?member=1102 Gene Sarazen], Wolrd Golf Hall of Fame. Accessed April 22, 2013. "He was born Eugenio Saraceni, the son of an Italian carpenter from Rome, Feb. 27, 1902, in Harrison, N.Y."
- Town/Village of Harrison official website
- Harrison Central School District
- Harrison Public Library
- Harrison Herald Newspaper
- The Harrison Report Newspaper
- POLITICSARELOCAL.com blog
- Harrison Watchdog; residents' action website
- "Lives Deserving a Special Remembrance", New York Times