Mount Vernon, New York
|Mount Vernon, New York|
Location within Westchester County and the state of New York
|• Mayor||Ernest D. Davis (D)|
|• City Council|
|• Total||4.4 sq mi (11.4 km2)|
|• Land||4.4 sq mi (11.4 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||108 ft (33 m)|
|• Density||15,288/sq mi (5,902.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0957917|
Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It lies on the border of the New York City borough of the Bronx. As of the 2010 census, Mount Vernon had a population of 67,292.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable sites
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Parks and recreation
- 7 Government
- 8 Court system
- 9 Municipal services
- 10 Education
- 11 Infrastructure
- 12 Notable people
- 13 In popular culture
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
Mount Vernon is the eighth most populous city in the state of New York. Northside Mount Vernon has a suburban look while Southside Mount Vernon has an urban feel, resembling the Bronx to the south. In fact, in 1894, the voters of Mount Vernon (and nearby Yonkers) voted, along with the voters of Kings, Richmond, and Queens counties, in a referendum on whether or not they wanted to become part of a "Greater New York City". While the results were positive elsewhere, the returns were so negative in Mount Vernon and Yonkers that those two areas were not included in the consolidated city and remained independent.
You might think that Mount Vernon was named after the Virginia plantation where George Washington spent his final years, just as neighboring Wakefield (in the Bronx) was named after the plantation where he was born. However, the name Mt. Vernon precedes Washington. Anne Hutchinson founded the Westchester city in the 17th Century and named it for its green mount (hence the name, Mount Vernon).
The Mount Vernon Public Library, a gift to the city from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, opened in 1904 and is now part Westchester's Central Library, providing educational, cultural and computer services to County residents of all ages.
During the 1960s, Mount Vernon was a divided city on the brink of a "northern style" segregation. Many blacks from the South came to the north and settled in the city of Mount Vernon for better job opportunities and educational advancements. At the same time, many White Americans from the Bronx and Manhattan looked to Mount Vernon as a new "bedroom community" due to rising crime in New York City (a "white flight" factor entailed as well). As a result, Mount Vernon became divided by the New Haven Line railroad tracks of the Metro North railroad into two parts, Northside and Southside. The population south of the tracks became predominantly African American while that north of the tracks was largely white.
At the height of this segregation in the 1970s, August Petrillo was Mayor; when he died, Thomas E. Sharpe was elected Mayor. Upon Sharpe's death in 1984, Carmella Iaboni took office as "acting-Mayor" until Ronald Blackwood was elected; Mr. Blackwood was the first Afro-Caribbean mayor of the city (as well as of any city in New York State). In 1996, Ernest D. Davis was elected the mayor of Mount Vernon; he served in office until 2007. Clinton I. Young, Jr. became the city's mayor on January 1, 2008. Four years later, on Sunday, January 1, 2012, Ernest D. Davis became the 21st Mayor of Mount Vernon after winning his re election from Clinton I. Young, Jr. In 2013, Mr. Davis was investigated for failure to report rental income.
Mount Vernon has in recent years undergone a transition from a city of homes and small businesses to a city of regional commerce. Between 2000 and 2006, the city of Mount Vernon's economy grew 20.5%, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the New York metropolitan area.
First United Methodist Church, the John Stevens House, Trinity Episcopal Church Complex, and the United States Post Office on First Street are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. St. Paul's Church is listed as a National Historic Site.
Mount Vernon is located at  It is the third largest and the most densely populated city in Westchester County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.4 km2), of which 0.015 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.39%, is water.(40.914060, -73.830507).
Mount Vernon is bordered by the village of Bronxville and city of New Rochelle to the north, by the town of Pelham and city of Pelham Manor to the east, by the Hutchinson River and the Eastchester and Wakefield sections of the Bronx, and by the city of Yonkers and the Bronx River to the west.
Mount Vernon's elevation at City Hall is about 235 feet (72 m), reflecting its location between the Bronx River to the west and the Hutchinson River to the east. From many parts of the city, the Throgs Neck Bridge can be seen from 10 miles (20 km) away on a clear day and at night the bridge lights can be seen. The City's seal, created in 1892, depicted what were then considered the highest points in Mount Vernon: Trinity Place near Fourth Street, Vista Place at Barnes Avenue, and North 10th Street between Washington and Jefferson places. Since then, it was discovered that the city's highest elevation is on New York Route 22, North Columbus Avenue, at the Bronxville line.
Mount Vernon is typically thought to be divided into four major sections in four square miles: Downtown, Mount Vernon Heights, North Side, and South Side.
Downtown Mount Vernon features the Gramatan Avenue and Fourth Avenue shopping district (known as "The Avenue" by locals) and the Petrillo Plaza transit hub, and houses the city's central government.
Downtown is currently in the same condition it was 40 years ago. It features the same mid-century architecture and format, little changed, and struggles to keep up with the surrounding community's rapid development. Former mayor Clinton Young had vowed to make Mount Vernon a new epicenter with a new central business district. His failed plans included establishing commercial office space and rezoning to allow high density development in the downtown, as well as affordable and market rate housing.
Mount Vernon Heights
Mount Vernon Heights' highly elevated terrain has earned the moniker "The rolling hills of homes". It is home to the city's commercial corridor, along Sandford Boulevard (6th Street).
Sandford Blvd (6th Street)—also known as "Sandford Square"—is a certified commercial corridor, which anchors businesses such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Colonial Plaza (a strip mall), CVS Pharmacy, Famous Footwear, Hooperstown, Petco, Restaurant Depot, Staples, Stop and Shop, and Target. Sandford Square attracts residents from Mount Vernon, nearby communities in Westchester County and the Bronx, and shoppers from as far away as Connecticut via the Merrit Parkway and I-95, which merge onto the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Most of the commercial development in this corridor has occurred since the 1980s. The area is still undergoing revitalization to encourage economic development within this 400-acre (1.6 km2) of land situated along and around the boulevard.
Mount Vernon's North Side is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Westchester County. The northern part of the city consists of five neighborhoods: Chester Heights, Estate Manor/Aubyn Estates, Fleetwood, Huntswood, and Oakwood Heights. In Fleetwood, many large co-op buildings line the center of town, which is bisected by Gramatan Avenue. The Huntswood and Estates sections are more affluent areas situated on the border between Mount Vernon and the Village of Bronxville, with property values ranging from high $400,000 to millions of dollars for single houses.
Mount Vernon's South Side, which abuts the The Bronx, resembles New York City and includes the neighborhoods Parkside and Southside. Numerous industrial businesses are located in Parkside, while the rest of Southside Mount Vernon features multi-family homes, apartment buildings, commercial businesses and housing projects.
South Side Mount Vernon features notable city landmarks such as Brush Park, Hutchinson Field, the Boys and Girls Club, and St. Paul's Church National Historic Site. NBA basketball player Ben Gordon, who is from the South Side, has dedicated two playgrounds to the city: one on South Eighth Avenue, and the other at the Mount Vernon YMCA Family Center.
2000 census data
As of the 2000 census, 68,381 people, 27,048 households, and 18,432 families resided in the city. The population density was 14,290.3 people per square mile (5,792.7/km2), with 28,558 housing units at an average density of 7,205.9 per square mile (3,509.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.58% African American, 28.63% White, 10.48% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 4.85% from other races, 4.44% from two or more races, 2.12% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.32% Native American. A significant proportion of the population is of Brazilian descent; Brazilians can be included in the African American, White, Multiracial and/or Latino categories. Similarly, a significant part of the Black and/or Latino population is of Caribbean origin.
There were 27,048 households, of which 40.9% were married couples living together, 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were non-families, and 28.0% had a female householder with no husband present. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years.
For every 100 females there were 82.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,128, and the median income for a family was $55,573. Males had a median income of $41,493 versus $37,871 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,827. 13.9% of the population and 11.8% of families were below the poverty line. 12.7% of the population was 65 or older.
Cultures and ancestry
The city has an enormously diverse population for its size and is often considered a poster child for cities within the county for having such a large magnitude of diversity for a city of its size.[who?] Over 98 different nationalities call the city home. In just four square miles the city includes people whose ethnic backgrounds are Brazilian, Caribbean, Eritrean, Gambian, German, Italian, Indian, Jewish, Korean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican.
The city has a large Brazilian community located in the neighborhoods just north and east of the downtown; it also has the largest West African and West Indian populations in the county. These groups mainly occupy the southwest corner of the city near The Bronx borderline.
Major ancestry groups reported by Mount Vernon residents include:
The 2000 census reports that a significant proportion of the population is of Brazilian descent; Brazilians can be included in the African American, White, Multiracial and/or Latino categories. Estimates by the City of Mount Vernon and the Brazilian Consulate in New York indicate one in 10 people in Mount Vernon is from Brazil and two-thirds of those Brazilians are from Poços de Caldas.
The Brazilian community is heavily concentrated in an area along and near West Lincoln Avenue, from its beginning at the corner of Mt. Vernon Avenue, going about half a mile down to Gramatan Avenue (N. Fourth Avenue), and has begun to expand into East Lincoln Avenue. Brazilian stores line commercial areas in these parts of Mount Vernon [especially within Gramatan Avenue (North Fourth Avenue), from the railroad tracks to Lincoln Avenue and adjacent blocks], and neighborhood public schools have brought in teachers and counselors who speak Portuguese. The language can be heard on the streets throughout this area.
The Brazilians living in Mount Vernon have also transformed their Brazilian hometown, pumping millions of dollars into its economy and helping to pay for new homes and businesses there. So important are these remittances that Brazilian journalist Walther Alvarenga has made Mount Vernon the focus of a series of documentaries for Brazilian public television called New York, O Sonho Brasileiro (New York, the Brazilian Dream).
Mount Vernon's three major employers are the Mount Vernon city school district with (1,021 employees), Michael Anthony Jewelers (712 employees), and Mount Vernon Hospital (700 employees).
Mount Vernon has a large commercial sector which boosts the city's economy, with industries such as electronics, engineering, high tech, historical metal restoration, and manufacturing mainly located in the Southside section of the city.
Mount Vernon also has an established Empire Zone for commercial and industrial use, located in the southern portion of the city, which has attracted manufacturing companies and nationally recognized businesses for major retailers and companies such as:
Parks and recreation
The city limits contain a number of city parks large and small, and Willson's Woods Park, a 23-acre (93,000 m2) county-owned park. One of the oldest parks in the county system, Willson's Woods offers a wave pool, water slides, and a spray deck and water playground, against the backdrop of an English Tudor style bathhouse. The park also has areas for picnicking and fishing.
Straddling the Fleetwood-Chester Heights border is Hunt's Woods, a county preserve taken over by the city in 1967. It is a small stretch of open woods with hiking and nature trails.
The grounds of Hutchinson Field, located on the southbound side of the Hutchinson River Parkway, include many outdoor minor-league fields and a batting cage, as well as the Ice Hutch, a domed sports complex where ice hockey is played indoors during the winter and indoor golf and tennis are available year-round.
Hooperstown, a sports facility located on Sanford Boulevard (6th Street), contracts basketball-court time to teams and leagues and use of the facility for baseball clinics. It also rents the facility to other businesses that may offer one-on-one training or fitness camps. It is not yet open to the public.
Numerous events take place in Mount Vernon periodically during the year, both indoors and outdoors. For example, the city hosts many annual events, such as a Memorial Day parade in May, Ben Gordon Day (inspired by the NBA basketballer) in August, the Arts On Third Festival, which is the largest arts and entertainment festival in Westchester, NY over 50,000 people attend the one day festival in the month of September and a Veterans Day parade in November.
The City of Mount Vernon is governed by a five-member City Council, a Mayor, and a Comptroller. As per the City Charter, in order to balance power, the Mayor runs every four years with two Council members, and the Comptroller runs two years after the Mayor with three Council members. Therefore in 2015, the Mayor and two Council seats are up for re-election. Beyond the regular political powers of elected officials, the City of Mount Vernon also has a checks and balances voting session called the Board of Estimate (BofE).
The City Council consists of five representatives, elected at-large, one of whom is the City Council President. As of January 2014, the City Council President is Roberta L. Apuzzo. The other members of the City Council are J. Yuhanna Edwards, Richard Thomas, former and returning Councilman Marcus A. Griffith, and Deborah Reynolds. The Comptroller is Maureen Walker, currently serving in her fifth four-year term. All elected members of the City Government are Democrats.
The current mayor is Ernest D. Davis, who also served as Mayor for three previous terms. In 2007, he was defeated by then County Legislator Clinton Young. Mayor Davis was re-elected 2011, beating out his opponents including the sitting Mayor Clinton Young, Comptroller Maureen Walker, Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards, and Peter Sherril.
In the last City election election held in November 2013, Maureen Walker was re-elected as Comptroller. She ran unopposed. J. Yuhanna Edwards, Roberta Apuzzo won their second-four year terms, and returning Councilman Marcus A. Griffith won a four-year council term.
Board of Estimate
The Board of Estimate is composed of the Mayor, the City Council President, and the Comptroller. The City Council President votes of behalf of the City Council. All monetary decisions including the Annual Budget and many legal ramifications must pass vote of the BofE. The Board of Estimate meets every Tuesday after the City Councils Wednesday Legislative Session.
The Mount Vernon city court is part of the New York State Unified Court System. It has three elected full-time judges who serve for ten years and one part-time associate judge who is appointed by the mayor for a period of eight years. The Judges of the Court are William Edwards, Mark Gross, and Helen Blackwood. Adam Seiden serves as an Associate Judge of the court. The Court handles a wide variety of cases including initial processing of all felony criminal cases; handling of all misdemeanor cases from inception through trial; civil proceedings with a limited monetary jurisdiction of up to $15,000; all landlord tenant cases originating in the city; small claims cases; and all vehicle and traffic law matters. The court is housed in the public safety complex which is adjacent to City Hall.
|Mount Vernon Fire Department (FDMV)|
|Facilities & Equipment|
|EMS Level||First Responder BLS|
The City of Mount Vernon is protected by the paid, full-time firefighters of the Mount Vernon Fire Department(FDMV). The FDMV operates out of 4 Fire Stations, located throughout the city, under the command of a Battalion/Deputy Chief per shift. The FDMV operates a fire apparatus fleet of 4 Engines, 3 Ladders, 1 Rescue(Cross-Staffed), 1 Field Support Unit, 1 Squad Support Unit, 1 Fleet Maintenance Unit, and numerous other special, support, and reserve units. Each piece of frontline fire apparatus is staffed by a driver and 1-2 firefighters. Currently, there are 14 firefighters on duty per shift. The Mount Vernon Fire Department responds to approximately 8,000 emergency calls annually. The current Acting Chief of Operations is Capt. Edward Stevenson and the current Fire Commissioner is James Gleason.
Fire station locations and apparatus
Below is a complete listing of all fire stations and apparatus locations in the city of Mount Vernon. Fire Headquarters is located at Fire Station # 6.
|Engine Company||Ladder Company||Special/Spare Unit||Chief/Support Unit||Address||Neighborhood|
|Engine 203||Tower Ladder 61||Mask Service Unit 2, Engine 201(Spare), Engine 207(Spare), Ladder 64(Spare)||Car 2290(Transport Unit), Car 2292(Deputy Chief), Car 2293(Deputy Chief), Car 2298(Support Unit), Car 2299(Support Unit)||50 W. 3rd St.||Downtown|
|Engine 204||Engine 202(Spare)||9 Oak St.||West Mount Vernon|
|Engine 205||Ladder 63||Rescue 2, Squad Support Unit 3, Field Support Unit||435 S. Fulton Ave.||South Side|
|Engine 206||Ladder 62||Car 2291(Chief of Department)||470 E. Lincoln Ave.||North Side|
Law enforcement services are provided by the Mount Vernon Police Department.
Mount Vernon City School District consist of 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and one alternative high school.
|Elementary schools||Middle schools||High schools|
|Cecil H. Parker||A.B. Davis Middle||Mount Vernon High|
|Columbus||Longfellow Middle||Nellie A. Thornton High|
|Edward Williams||Nelson Mandela Alternative|
|William H. Holmes|
Westchester Community College has an extension site education facility, downtown.
In 2011, The Journal News featured an article titled "Region's Aging Schools Crumble as Finances Falter", by Cathey O'Donnell and Gary Stern. The article discussed several old school buildings within the region that were in disrepair, how much it would cost to fix them, and which if any might need to be demolished. The Mount Vernon school district was included in the article, which stated:
- "In Mount Vernon, meanwhile, where a high school wall collapsed last year, inspectors flagged buildings for insufficient smoke detectors, poor air quality, evidence of rodents and vermin, halls without emergency lighting and junction boxes with exposed live wires."
In late 2005, the RBA Group conducted a study and found that over 5,000 commuters traverse the area on a daily basis; about 3,600 commuters use the Westchester County Bee-Line Bus System, and 1,500 use the Metro-North Railroad.
- Petrillo Plaza, adjacent to Metro North's Mount Vernon East station in downtown Mount Vernon, is the hub for Westchester's Bee-Line Bus System service in Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon's taxi services operate from Petrillo Plaza as well.
- Bee-Line Bus routes serving Mount Vernon are 7, 40, 41, 42, 43, 52, 53, 54, 55, as well as the 91, which operates during the summer.
- Two New York City Bus routes (MTA) serve two blocks in Mount Vernon: The Bx16 travels to Mundy Lane (S. 11th Avenue) between W. 5th Street (Nereid Avenue) and W. Sandford Blvd (Pittman Avenue), and the FT 6X operates between Mount Vernon and the Bronx via Yonkers.
- The Metro-North's north-south Harlem Line stops at Mount Vernon West and Fleetwood, both located on the western edge of Mount Vernon; the west-east New Haven Line stops at Mount Vernon East, in the heart of downtown.
- Both the 2 5 trains (IRT White Plains Road Line) and the 5 train (IRT Dyre Avenue Line) of the New York City Subway system have terminals just south of the Mount Vernon border, served by the Bee-Line. The 2 train terminates at 241st Street in Wakefield. The 5 train terminates at Dyre Avenue in Eastchester. Additionally, the 5 goes to Nereid Avenue during rush hours in the peak direction. Both locations are within 5 minutes walking distance of Southside Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon is served by three of the county's busiest parkways which link to New York City: the Bronx River Parkway, the Cross County Parkway, and the Hutchinson River Parkway. Additionally, I-95 and I-87 are both less than a mile from Mount Vernon's borders, offering both passenger car and truck access to the area.
115 year old Mount Vernon Hospital has 228 beds. It is part of the Montefiore Medical Group and provides in-patient, critical care, and ambulatory services to residents of Mount Vernon and neighboring communities. The hospital is most known for its premier Chronic Wound Treatment and Hyperbaric Center, which is one of the most advanced in the Northeast. It also offers a variety of services, including the Assertive Community Treatment Center (ACT), the Family Health and Wellness Center, the Hopfer School of Nursing, Hyperbaric Medicine, and Intensive Case Management.
Mount Vernon Hospital is one of four hospitals in the county that provides programs in medicine, nursing, surgery and podiatry. (Montefiore New Rochelle, White Plains Hospital, and Westchester Medical Center are the others.) The hospital has “some of the finest medical doctor educators on staff. There is a 92 percent pass rate on boards for medical residents.”
Mount Vernon Hospital's emergency room treats 25,000 patients a year and is going to be expanded at a cost of $2.5 million, doubling its size from 9,000 square feet (800 m2) to 18,500. The expansion plans include 15 private treatment rooms and upgrades to the waiting area, triage room and other areas in the emergency department.
The area around the hospital has many medical office buildings and treatment facilities which provide healthcare to residents living in Mount Vernon, the southeast section of Yonkers, and the north Bronx, which shares a border with the city. For example, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, the Planned Parenthood affiliate that services New York's Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, opened its first medical center in Mount Vernon in 1935; the affiliate remains a vital source for reproductive health care services to Mount Vernon residents.
Houses of worship
The city's previous motto was "A City That Believes". This is reflected in the houses of worship in the city that represent over 25 denominations.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
In popular culture
Multiple movies have been set in or featured Mount Vernon, such as: (Chronological)
- Empty Places (1999)
- The Thomas Crown Affair (1999): shot a scene in Willson's Woods Park, which was transformed to look like Central Park; the Vernon Woods co-op complex was used to stage and store equipment during the scene.
- Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
- The Suburbs (web series) (2008–Present)
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Mount Vernon city, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Nevius, Michelle and Nevius, James. Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City. New York: Free Press, 2009. ISBN 141658997X, p.177-78
- Cohen, Joyce (January 31, 1999). "If You're Thinking of Living In / Wakefield, the Bronx; Hugging Westchester At the Subway's End". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- Jonathan Bandler (Feb 13, 2013). "Feds investigate Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis' finances". The Journal News.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ""A Brazilian Outpost in Westchester County". The New York Times. 26 June 2006.
- Willson's Woods Park Archived 14 December 2010 at WebCite
- "City Council". City of Mount Vernon, NY Official Website. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
- "Finance". City of Mount Vernon, NY Official Website. Retrieved November 2012.
- "Mayor's Office". City of Mount Vernon, NY Official Website. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Fire Department | City of Mount Vernon NY". Cmvny.com. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- "Houses of Worship". Official Website of the City of Mount Vernon, NY.
- Bass, Holly (March–April 2006). "Camille Akeju: New Director Seeks to Rejuvenate Anacostia Museum". Crisis: 37–39. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Bloom, Nate (2011-12-20). "Shining a Light on the Largely Untold Story of the Origins of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "Board of Directors". Official web site of the Boys and Girls Club of Mount Vernon. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- "Honoring Our Own", Westchester Magazine, January 23, 2009. Archived 14 December 2010 at WebCite
- "Barbara May Theresa Werle Obituary". U-T San Diego. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Isaacs, Stan (December 17, 1979). "Mean Joe: Goliath plays Othello". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Movies Filmed In Mount Vernon". IMDB. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Mount Vernon...Did You Know?". Mount Vernon Daily Voice. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Site about the film
Media related to Mount Vernon, New York at Wikimedia Commons