Hudson Hill, Bronx

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A Driveway, as viewed from West 249th Street, of the dormitory of Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni. The similarity of the gate pillars to those in the Godfather has led to the speculation that the film was shot there.

Hudson Hill, also known as Riverdale Estates, is the section of Riverdale, Bronx, New York City bordered by the Henry Hudson Parkway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, West 246th Street on the south, and West 254th Street on the north. Though relatively small, the area boasts a rich history, a long list of landmarks, and numerous notable residences and has commonly been labeled “one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Riverdale.” [1]

As indicated by its name, Hudson Hill rests on a natural acclivity beside the Hudson River. The unique layout of the streets allows each street in Hudson Hill a theoretical perspective of the Hudson: each successive street west of the parkway is at a lower elevation than its neighboring street. In fact, because of its downward sloping arrangement along a hillside, a few residents initially suggested that the region be referred to as "Hudson Hillside Estates," or simply, "Hillside Estates." [2] It is also said that the name "Hudson Hill" is the neighborhood's way of tipping its hat to Robert E. Hill, founder of Robert E. Hill Inc. - a real estate firm. Hill was the first to formally distinguish Riverdale's Estate Area, thereby ensuring higher property value and increased distinction.[3]

Hudson Hill is home to Wave Hill, a botanical garden and historical center. The garden's Wave Hill House served as the home of Mark Twain,[4] among others. Across the street from Wave Hill is an older mansion that is commonly believed to have been featured in the original motion picture The Godfather.[5] The mansion is now being used by the Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni as a dormitory building. The Yeshiva's main building lies across the street.

Other famous mansions in Hudson Hill include: Greyston (1864), Alderbrook (1880), Stonehurst (1861), and Oaklawn (1863).[3] Indeed, the rich history of part of Hudson Hill has led to the creation, by unanimous vote, of the Riverdale Historic District. The exact area is bound roughly by 252d and 254th Streets and Palisade and Independence Avenues. Leland Weintraub, the commissioner who motioned for the district's creation, noted that "most of the features commonly associated with the American romantic suburb of the mid-19th century," including "a picturesque site, landscaping and architecture; connection to the city by accessible transportation and a layout adapted to the topography" are present in the area.[6] While Weintraub was only discussing the historical district, his statement accurately describes the entire Hudson Hill area.

John F. Kennedy spent two years of his childhood in Hudson Hill, from 1927 to 1929, when his father Joseph Kennedy moved the family "to 5040 Independence Avenue, a stately twenty-room Georgian-style mansion in exclusive Riverdale."[7] Across the street from Kennedy's old house lies the retirement estate of former New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia.[8]


  1. ^ "Living in the Hudson Hill neighborhood of Bronx"
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Riverdale, New York - Estate Area. 12 July 2011
  4. ^
  5. ^,49098?page=2
  6. ^ "Postings: Historic Designation; Recognizing Riverdale. " New York Times [New York, N.Y.] 21 Oct. 1990, Late Edition (East Coast): A.1.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Michael. John F. Kennedy: A Biography, Macmillan 2005, 29
  8. ^ Bronx County Clerk's Office. 4 July 2008.

Coordinates: 40°53′49″N 73°54′43″W / 40.897°N 73.912°W / 40.897; -73.912