Pelham Parkway, Bronx
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Pelham Parkway or Bronx Park East is primarily a residential neighborhood geographically located in the center of the Bronx borough of New York City in the United States. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 11. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: Waring Avenue to the north, the IRT Dyre Avenue Line tracks (5 train) to the east, Neill Avenue to the South, and Bronx River Parkway to the west. White Plains Road is the primary commercial thoroughfare through Pelham Parkway. The local subway line is the IRT White Plains Road Line (2 5 trains) operating along White Plains Road. Zip codes include 10462 and 10467. The area is patrolled by the New York City Police Department 49th Precinct located at 2121 Eastchester Road in the Morris Park section of the Bronx.
Pelham Parkway is a high density neighborhood with a population over 50,000. The neighborhood has a significantly diverse population including Albanians (The largest concentration in New York City), Arabs, African Americans, Christians, Dominicans, Filipino, Germans, Guyanese, Indians, Irish, Italians, Jamaicans, Jews, Muslims, Pakistanis, Puerto Ricans, and Russians. Hispanics of various races account for 45% of the community; 38% of the community are non-Hispanic White and 20% non-Hispanic Black. Like most neighborhoods in New York City, the vast majority of households are renter occupied. However, there is a large community of co-op owners in the area. There is significant income diversity on a block by block basis, spanning from low wage immigrant households to solid upper middle class. While the poverty rate for The Bronx as a whole is 28%, the poverty rate in The Pelham Parkway neighborhood, at less than 20%, is much closer to the overall New York City rate of 15%
Land use and terrain
Pelham Parkway is dominated by 6 and 7-story elevator apartment and coop buildings but the residential streets are lined with a vibrant blend of housing types including detached houses and larger Art Deco and Tudor Style apartment buildings. In the last decade, construction of modern 2 and 3 unit row-houses and apartment buildings have increased the percentage of owners versus renters. The total land area is roughly one square mile. The terrain is relatively low laying and flat.
Bronx Park, laid out 718 acres (291 ha) along the Bronx River in the Bronx is the home of the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Bicycle paths go northwest, north and east, along Mosholu Parkway, Bronx River Parkway and Pelham Parkway respectively. The east end of Fordham Road is inside the park, at an interchange with the Pelham and Bronx River Parkways. The park is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The park is bounded by Southern Boulevard, Webster Avenue, Burke Avenue, Bronx Park East, and Easr 180th Street.
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is a subsidiary of the Wildlife Conservation Society which was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. The Bronx Zoo opened to the public in 1899 and still adheres to its original mission to advance the study of zoology, protect wildlife and educate the public. The zoo is a leader in the care, feeding and exhibition of animals–including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians from around the world. With the award winning Congo Gorilla Forest, Tiger Mountain, Jungle World and Baboon Reserve, the Bronx Zoo has earned its place as one of the foremost zoos in the world.
Proposed Pelham Parkway Historic District (2007)
The Pelham Parkway neighborhood of the Bronx has long served as home to working and middle class New York families. The six-story apartment houses in which they reside provide comfortable living at affordable prices and stand in large numbers throughout the metropolitan area. This commonality of the speculative six-story elevator apartment building has long left this type of construction under-recognized and unappreciated. Though many of these dwellings stand alone or in large concentration; a survey of similar communities affirm that the Pelham Parkway area is one of few truly cohesive neighborhoods of this typology, offering an unusually compact and well-preserved stretch of these buildings. These structures have proven vital as they contain facilities to meet resident's commercial, religious, and educational needs.
The beauty of the parkway defines the community. Bronx House, a settlement house that moved to Pelham Parkway in the 1950s is the heart of the neighborhood. It is run by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies as a community center and provides social services, support networks, English Language classes, free lunches for the elderly, and a gym for all neighborhood residents.
The Parkway’s official name is the Bronx and Pelham Parkway since it connects Bronx Park and Pelham Bay Park. It is also an integral part of the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway. Pelham Parkway was established in 1911 and was originally only one lane, which is today’s westbound lane. The parkway was lined with trees on both sides and had a strict building code. Nobody was allowed to build within 150 feet (46 m) of the center. No railroads were allowed to cross over the parkway; this is why the roadbed of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway, which is now the Dyre Avenue subway line, had to be laid in a tunnel underneath the parkway. Bars and hotels are also prohibited alongside the parkway. Land in 1900 cost between $3500 and $5000 for one lot; near Bronx Park the prices were even higher.
After a late 20th-century deterioration of the neighborhood, coinciding with what was known as white flight from The Bronx, Pelham Parkway showed signs of revitalization in the new century. Many apartments have been rehabilitated and offered as rentals to the growing middle income population found in the area. A number of buildings have been converted to cooperative ownership and the business section on White Plains Road and Lydig Avenue is a beehive of activity. Their stores reflect the neighborhood's polyglot lineage with many ethnic restaurants side by side with Kosher and Italian butchers and bakeries.
Today’s parkway was constructed in the 1930s and is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) in length and 400 feet (120 m) wide and features wide expanses of lawn with full canopies of trees. The center of the parkway, prior to World War II, was closed off on Sunday mornings for professional bicycle racing. Today, a recreational bikeway runs alongside the westbound motor lanes of the parkway, near the north side of the Parkway.
Christopher Columbus High School is in the neighborhood, on the northside of the Pelham Parkway road. CUNY Prep High School is in the southwest part of the neighborhood. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is also nearby.
The neighborhood is served by two New York City subway services serving two New York City Subway lines, as well as local bus route and an express bus to midtown Manhattan. The Pelham Parkway and Bronx Park East stations on the IRT White Plains Road Line (served by the 2 5 trains) and Morris Park on the IRT Dyre Avenue Line (served by the 5 train) service the area.
The BxM11 bus provides express service to midtown along 5th Avenue and returns along Madison Avenue. The Bx12 and Bx12 Select Bus Service goes through Pelham Parkway, beginning at 207th Street in Manhattan and ending in Bay Plaza (Co-Op City) with transfers to other bus routes on White Plains Road, Williamsbridge Road and Eastchester Road.