Rye (city), New York
Location in Westchester County and the state of New York
|• Mayor||Joseph A. Sack (R)|
|• City Council|
|• Total||20.0 sq mi (51.9 km2)|
|• Land||5.8 sq mi (15.0 km2)|
|• Water||14.2 sq mi (36.9 km2)|
|• Density||2,710/sq mi (1,050/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which is larger than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until it received its charter as a city in 1942. The population was 15,720 at the 2010 census. Rye is the youngest city in New York State. No other city has been chartered anywhere in New York State since 1942.
Located in the city are two National Historic Landmarks: the Boston Post Road Historic District was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1993; its centerpiece is the Jay Estate, the boyhood home of John Jay, a Founding Father and the first Chief Justice of the United States.
Playland, a historic amusement park designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, is also located in Rye. Playland features one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the Northeast, the Dragon Coaster.
Of note are two 200+ year old milestones labeled 24 and 25 on the Boston Post Road, America's oldest thoroughfare. The concept of mile markers to measure the distance from New York City was originated in 1763 by Benjamin Franklin during his term as Postmaster General. Rye is also home to a rare 1938 WPA mural by realist Guy Pene du Bois which is located within the city's Post Office lobby and titled "John Jay at His Home."
Rye was at one time a part of Fairfield County, Conn., which was a belonging of the Sachem Ponus, of the Ponus Wekuwuhm, Canaan Parish, and which was probably named for that chieftain, "Peningoe Neck". The oldest house in the city, the Timothy Knapp House, is owned by the Rye Historical Society and dates in its original version to around 1667. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Historical Society also owns a former inn/tavern built in 1730, known today as the Square House, which it operates as a museum. George Washington stayed at the inn on two separate occasions, remarking favorably on his experience in his diaries.
Rye is also where American Founding Father John Jay grew up and where he is buried. The Jay Estate at 210 Boston Post Road is now the home of the not-for-profit organization the Jay Heritage Center. The Center's mission is to restore and preserve the entire 23 acre property - buildings and landscape -  together with the 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House, which occupies the original site of the Jay family farm, "The Locusts." Restoration of the Jay mansion overlooking Long Island Sound is an official project of the Save America's Treasures Program. With its ornate composite Egyptian and Corinthian columns, and pedimented facade, the house is a textbook example of American Greek Revival architecture popularized before the Civil War and is noted for its many design elements influenced by Minard Lafever. The Jay Mansion is the oldest National Historic Landmark (NHL) structure in New York State with a geothermal heating and cooling system and the first in Westchester County to have such an energy efficient system. The Jay Heritage Center was recently designated a member site of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. It is also listed on Westchester County's African American Heritage Trail. John Jay was well known for advocating emancipation, serving as President of the New York Manumission Society and establishing the first African Free School.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) are The Square House originally known as Widow Haviland's Tavern listed in 1974, the United States Post Office - Rye listed in 1989, the Rye Town Park-Bathing Complex and Oakland Beach listed in 2003, the African Cemetery listed in 2003, the Bird Homestead listed in 2010 and The Rye Meeting House listed in 2011.
Rye is known for its famous amusement attraction, Rye Playland. This 279 acre theme park is owned and operated by Westchester County and includes rides, games, an indoor skating rink or Ice Casino, beach, a boardwalk and concession stands. It is one of only two amusement parks in the country with National Historic Landmark status, the other one being Kennywood in Pennsylvania. It has been a popular destination since it first opened in 1928. Its wooden roller coaster, the Dragon Coaster, built in 1929, is one of the last roller coaster rides built by engineer Frederick Church that is still operating.  The Derby Racer, also built by Church, is one of only 3 rides of its kind remaining in the world. Glenn Close and Ellen Latzen ride the roller coaster in the 1980s thriller, Fatal Attraction. Playland is also the setting for several key scenes in the comedy film Big, starring Tom Hanks.
Rye is served by three public elementary schools: Osborn, Milton and Midland. Rye Middle School and Rye High School follow; they are part of the same campus, and the two buildings connect.
The Rye High School, has been named a Gold Medal school and the 61st best high school in the U.S., 9th in New York State, and 1st in New York State if test-in schools are disregarded according to U.S. News & World Report's 2013 "Best High Schools". Rye is also home to Rye Country Day School, a college preparatory school.
The annual Rye-Harrison football game has been played for almost 80 years and is a top high school football rivalry in Westchester County. The Rye team has won three recent New York State championships, two consecutively, and has defeated Harrison in nine consecutive meetings. Harrison leads the all-time series with a record of 41-37-3.
In 2010, Coldwell Banker reported that Rye was the third most expensive city in the country in which to buy a home. The city of Rye was ranked ninth in the list of the top 10 places to live in New York State for 2014 according to the national online real estate brokerage Movoto.
The Rye train station provides commuter rail service to Grand Central Terminal in New York City or Stamford and New Haven-Union Station via the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line. The Bee-Line Bus System provides bus service to Rye on routes 61 and 76 with additional seasonal service to Rye Playland on routes 75, 91, and 92.
The City of Rye police department has 35 sworn-in officers and about six civil officers. They operate a fleet of Ford Crown Victorias, Chevrolet Tahoes and one military-surplus truck used for emergency services. There is also one Toyota Prius for parking enforcement. This car can be seen parked on the shoulder at Rye High School in the morning helping students cross the street into the school parking lot. The Rye Auxiliary Police is an all-volunteer force that provides assistance when needed. Police officer are always first on scene to medical calls and can provide basic life support. The Westchester County Police also patrols several areas of Rye, such as Playland Park and The Marshlands.
The City of Rye Fire Department has 16 career firefighters of which only 3-4 are on duty at any one time. These career firefighters are supplemented by approx. 18 active volunteer firefighters. They use two Fire Stations and man two Engines, two Ladders, two Utility Units, and three Command Vehicles. The Rye Fire Department responds to approximately 1,100 emergency calls annually.
Emergency Medical Services
Emergency medical service is provided by Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook EMS at the Advanced Life Support Level (ALS). They are a combination agency with 50 members (30 paid EMTs, 15 paramedics and five volunteers). They operate five ALS ambulances and three paramedic flycars from their station in Port Chester.
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- James Roosevelt Bayley, Catholic bishop
- John Bello, founder SoBe Beverages; former president NFL Properties
- Greg Berlanti, TV writer
- Ralph Branca, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Barbara Bush, First Lady, attended Milton Elementary School
- Bud Cort, actor
- Buster Crabbe, actor (Flash Gordon) and Olympic swimmer
- Mike D'Antoni, former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers
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- Amelia Earhart, aviatrix; first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (Born in Atchison, Kansas)
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- Justin Henry, actor
- Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar
- Iakovos, Archbishop of America, (d. 2005)
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- Elizabeth Janeway, author
- John Jay, Founding Father, two time Governor of New York State, anti-slavery advocate, jurist and diplomat
- Peter Augustus Jay, President of the NY Manumission Society
- John Clarkson Jay, physician and notable conchologist
- Mary Rutherfurd Jay, landscape architect
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- City of Rye official website
- The Rye Sound Shore Review
- The Rye Historical Society
- Jay Heritage Center
- Rye City Schools
- Rye Country Day School
- Rye Record
- Rye Nature Center
- Rye Free Reading Room (public library)
- Jay Family Cemetery
- Hudson River Valley Heritage Area
- Library of Congress-Local Legacies-Jay Heritage Center