Castle Hill, Bronx
Quimby Avenue east of Castle Hill Avenue
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Bronx 9|
|• Total||3 km2 (1.3 sq mi)|
|• Density||11,000/km2 (30,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$42,171|
10472, 10473, 10462
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Castle Hill is a neighborhood located in the southeast section of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. Its boundaries are: Waterbury and Westchester Avenues to the north, Westchester Creek to the east, the East River to the south, and White Plains Road to the west.
The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9. ZIP Codes include 10472, 10473, and 10462. The area is patrolled by the NYPD's 43rd Precinct. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 8 at 2794 Randall Avenue.
Most development initially concentrated near the IRT Pelham Line on Westchester Avenue and in close proximity to Castle Hill Avenue (once served by a streetcar). The predominant housing was a mixture of attached and detached two-story buildings with one or two units, closely set on small lots. Castle Hill became home to many European immigrants looking to leave Lower Manhattan's overpopulated immigrant communities. Prior to the late 20th century, large land parcels across the neighborhood remained undeveloped. Vacant land was used to provide temporary housing, using Quonset hut structures, to returning World War II veterans. During the 1950s the Bruckner Expressway was constructed, bisecting the area. The NYCHA built the Castle Hill Houses in 1959, adding over 2,000 housing units to the community. Later during the 1960s and 1970s, large apartment complexes were constructed in the neighborhood following the establishment of the Mitchell Lama program. In 2000, the largest remaining collection of vacant parcels was developed near Castle Hill Point with modern two-story, two-unit attached rowhouses.
Like neighboring Soundview, Castle Hill began to fall into rapid decay in the 1970s due to white flight, growing poverty rates, and a citywide fiscal crisis. Much of the white non-Hispanic population was replaced by poor and working-class Latin Americans and African Americans. As a result, abandonment was much less extensive than in neighborhoods to the west, including Morrisania. The neighborhood was gravely affected by the crack epidemic throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. Improved policing methods include NYPD-monitored CCTV along known high drug-trafficking areas, increased foot presence, and improved statistical mapping.
In more recent years, a citywide housing crisis spurred construction of modern multi-unit row houses and apartment buildings. Many are multi zoned for retail and have mixed-income qualifications. There are also plans to develop this type of housing on vacant land within the confines of NYCHA Castle Hill Houses along with significant renovations and improvements to existing grounds and buildings. The neighborhood has become increasingly more diverse with a rise in varied Latin American and Asian immigration in recent years. Crime has also seen a significant decline as a result of a number of factors including enhanced policing techniques and changing economic demographics.
The neighborhood predominantly consists of Latin Americans (a plurality having Puerto Rican and Dominican ancestry) and African Americans. 73% of residential units are renter-occupied. There is significant income diversity but the poverty rate is higher and median household income lower than the New York City average.
The entirety of Community District 9, which comprises Castle Hill, Clason Point, and Parkchester, had 184,105 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 79.7 years.:2, 20 This is about the same as the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 25% are between the ages of between 0–17, 29% between 25–44, and 24% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 12% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 9 was $40,005. In 2018, an estimated 26% of Castle Hill and Parkchester residents lived in poverty, compared to 25% in all of the Bronx and 20% in all of New York City. One in eight residents (13%) were unemployed, compared to 13% in the Bronx and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 55% in Castle Hill and Parkchester, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Castle Hill and Parkchester are considered low-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Land use and terrain
The land area contains a mix of uses but is primarily residential. There is a mixture of pre-war architecture, mid-century, and modern construction. Multi-unit attached and detached houses dominate much of the land area. The NYCHA Castle Hill Houses take up significant land area in the southern part of the community along with the Mitchell-Lama Jamie Towers housing complex
The neighborhood's primary commercial corridors are White Plains Road, Castle Hill Avenue, and Westchester Avenue.
The Castle Hill Avenue Business Improvement District was started with the assistance of Councilwoman Annabel Palma and James Vacca in June 2012.
The Shops at Bruckner Commons
The Shops at Bruckner Commons, which greatly expanded throughout the 1990s and mostly renovated in 2018, divides Castle Hill from neighboring Soundview and contains some national chains like Kmart, The Gap and Old Navy. Other primary thoroughfares contain amenities like supermarkets, pharmacies, barbershops, hair salons, fast food, bodegas, and cheap shops.
The eastern border of the neighborhood, adjacent to the Westchester Creek, is primarily used for storage, warehousing, and municipal uses.
The area gradually comes to peak elevation along Castle Hill Avenue.
Police and crime
Castle Hill and Parkchester are patrolled by the 43rd Precinct of the NYPD, located at 900 Fteley Avenue. The 43rd Precinct ranked 36th-safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. As of 2018[update], with a non-fatal assault rate of 100 per 100,000 people, Castle Hill and Parkchester's rate of violent crimes per capita is more than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 603 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 43rd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 80.4% between 1990 and 2019. The precinct reported 5 murders, 46 rapes, 359 robberies, 559 felony assaults, 140 burglaries, 612 grand larcenies, and 143 grand larcenies auto in 2019.
- Engine Company 64/Ladder Company 47 – 1224 Castle Hill Avenue
- FDNY EMS Station 3 – 501 Zerega Avenue
As of 2018[update], preterm births and births to teenage mothers are more common in Castle Hill and Parkchester than in other places citywide. In Castle Hill and Parkchester, there were 106 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 26.4 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Castle Hill and Parkchester has a relatively average population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 16%, higher than the citywide rate of 14%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Castle Hill and Parkchester is 0.0076 milligrams per cubic metre (7.6×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Eighteen percent of Castle Hill and Parkchester residents are smokers, which is higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Castle Hill and Parkchester, 32% of residents are obese, 16% are diabetic, and 34% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 25% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-three percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 72% of residents described their health as "good", "very good", or "excellent", lower than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Castle Hill and Parkchester, there are 13 bodegas.:10
The nearest hospital campuses are Montefiore Medical Center's Westchester Square and West Farms campuses, as well as Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center's Longwood campus. The nearest large hospital is NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in Morris Park.
Post office and ZIP Codes
Castle Hill is located within three ZIP Codes. The area north of Bruckner Expressway/Interstate 278 is in 10472, while the area between Bruckner Expressway and Cross Bronx Expressway/Interstate 95 is in 10473, and the area north of Cross Bronx Expressway is in 10462. The United States Postal Service operates the Castle Hill Station post office at 1163 Castle Hill Avenue.
Castle Hill and Parkchester generally have a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. While 23% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 30% have less than a high school education and 47% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 26% of Bronx residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Castle Hill and Parkchester students excelling in math rose from 23% in 2000 to 44% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 27% to 30% during the same time period.
Castle Hill and Parkchester's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Castle Hill and Parkchester, 28% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 69% of high school students in Castle Hill and Parkchester graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.:6
- PS 138 Samuel Randall School (K-5)
- PS 36 - Unionport School (K-5)
- PS/MS 194
Private and parochial schools
- St. John Vianney Cure of Ars School (now closed)
- Holy Family School (Pre K-8)
- St. Raymond Elementary School (Pre-K3 through 8th Grade) 
- Saint Raymond High School For Boys
- St. Raymond Academy for Girls, an all-girls', Catholic high school
Special education programs
- New LIFE School (5-8)
Parks and recreation
- Pugsley Creek Park is located along the eastern shoreline of Castle Hill. It surrounds a historic creek that was previously a tributary of Westchester Creek.
- On the southern end of Castle Hill Avenue is Castle Hill Point Park. This greenspace has boat ramps, fishing piers, and views of the Throgs Neck and Whitestone Bridges.
- Castle Hill YMCA (the only YMCA in the Bronx), has indoor and outdoor pools, a baseball field, basketball court, gym and an outdoor sitting area with views of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.
- The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club (Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse), located at 1930 Randall Avenue, has an ice skating rink.
- Bx4: to Westchester Square or Third Avenue-149th Street subway stations (via Westchester Avenue)
- Bx5: to Co-op City and Bay Plaza Shopping Center or Simpson Street subway station (via Bruckner Boulevard and Story Avenue)
- Bx22: to Bronx High School of Science (via Fordham Road/ Castle Hill Avenue)
- Bx36: to George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal (via East 180th Street)
- Bx39: to Wakefield–241st Street subway station or Clason Point (via White Plains Road)
- Q44 SBS: to Bronx Zoo or Jamaica, Whitestone, Flushing (via Bronx-Whitestone Bridge)
- BxM8: Express bus, to Pelham Bay or Midtown Manhattan
In popular culture
- Darrin Henson (born 1972), actor and choreographer, was raised in Castle Hill area.
- Ed Kranepool (born 1944), former baseball player who played his entire MLB career as a first baseman/pinch-hitter with the New York Mets. Born and raised at 847 Castle Hill Avenue, living there until he was signed by the Mets in 1962.
- Jennifer Lopez ("J-Lo"; born 1969), musician and actress, raised on 2210 Blackrock Avenue Castle Hill Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2006, 1st ballot.
- Remy Ma (born 1980), female rapper, was raised in the Castle Hill Houses. Castle Hill Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2007, 1st ballot.
- Big Dennis Rivera (born 1969), radio personality and producer, raised in Castle Hill area.
- Kenny Satterfield (born 1981), former NBA player with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson (born 1958), astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, lived in the area as a child.
- Kerry Washington (born 1977), actress, was raised in Jamie Towers.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Castle Hill neighborhood in New York". Retrieved September 23, 2015.
- "NYPD – 43rd Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "Parkchester and Soundview (Including Bronx River, Castle Hill, Clason Point, Parkchester, Soundview, Soundview-Bruckner and Unionport)" (PDF). nyc.gov. NYC Health. 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "2016-2018 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan: Take Care New York 2020" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "New Yorkers are living longer, happier and healthier lives". New York Post. June 4, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "NYC-Bronx Community District 9--Castle Hill, Clason Point & Parkchester PUMA, NY". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- LIVING IN | CASTLE HILL, THE BRONX. Still Easy to Get to; Now Safer to Be In There. The New York Times. Published: January 16, 2009
- Rocchio, Patrick (June 12, 2012). "Merchant Development Program begins". Bronx Times Reporter. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- "Soundview: Parkchester, Castle Hill – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "43rd Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Engine Company 64/Ladder Company 47". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Bronx, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Riverdale, New York City-Bronx, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "Location Details: Castle Hill". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Parkchester / Soundview – BX 09" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "About the Castle Hill Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Pugsley Creek Park Highlights : NYC Parks". www.nycgovparks.org. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- Plambeck, Joseph (16 January 2009). "Still Easy to Get to; Now Safer to Be In". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- "Bronx Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 21, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "The Pope of Greenwich Village". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- Krieger, Tara. Ed Kranepool, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed January 5, 2018. "On July 28, 1944, 31-year-old Sgt. Edward Kranepool was machine-gunned down in Saint-Lô, France, leaving behind a three-year-old daughter, Marilyn, and a wife, Ethel, six months pregnant. The son, Edward Emil III, was born on November 8 of that year, in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx.... On June 27, Mets scout Bubber Jonnard and vice president Johnny Murphy personally came to Kranepool’s home at 847 Castle Hill Avenue to work out the details."
- Phull, Hardeep. "J.Lo still exploiting her Bronx roots with latest album", New York Post, June 16, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2016. "The block that Jennifer Lopez grew up on doesn’t seem like the kind of place where stars are born or raised. Her old neighborhood of Castle Hill is constantly bathed in the hum and the fumes of traffic from the Cross Bronx Expressway."
- Sit, Ryan. "Remy Ma celebrates freedom with trip to the strip club", New York Daily News, August 24, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2016. "Remy already has a new music video out with French Montana on DJ Khaled's 'They Don't Love You No More (Remix).' The video features shots of the Castle Hill housing project where she grew up in the Bronx."
- Kussoy, Howie. "Point Taken", New York Post, July 31, 2007. Accessed January 5, 2018. "Kenny Satterfield could start a career in real estate if he wanted to because right now he owns a stretch of waterfront property at Orchard Beach. The 6-foot-2 guard from Castle Hill has made the Hoops in the Sun court his own personal playground this summer."
- "Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
- Lee, Felicia R. "The Weight Those Heels Carry", The New York Times, April 26, 2013. Accessed December 9, 2016. "Her closest friends are from her years growing up an only child in the Castle Hill and Soundview neighborhoods of the Bronx."