Bell Tower Park in Riverdale
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Bronx 8|
|Named for||The numerous brooks, streams and meadows in the hilly region.|
|• Total||7.03 km2 (2.714 sq mi)|
|• Density||6,800/km2 (18,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income (2016)||$85,310 vs. $62,909 (NYC)|
|• Average individual income (2017)||~$112,652 vs. $57,782 (NYC)|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Riverdale is a residential neighborhood in the northwest portion of the Bronx, a borough in New York City. Riverdale, which has a population of 47,850 as of the 2000 United States Census, contains the northernmost point in New York City. Riverdale's boundaries are disputed, but it is commonly agreed to be bordered by Yonkers to the north, Van Cortlandt Park and Broadway to the east, the Kingsbridge neighborhood to the southeast, either the Harlem River or the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood to the south, and the Hudson River to the west. Riverdale Avenue is the primary north–south thoroughfare through Riverdale.
In 1642, Anthony Van Corlaer died while attempting to swim across the Harlem River from nearby Spuyten Duyvil. A witness to Van Corlaer's death stated that "the devil" in the shape of a giant fish swam up and proceeded to "seize the sturdy Anthony by the leg and drag him beneath the waves." This may be the earliest recorded shark attack in the New World. In the late 17th century, Frederick Philipse, the lord of Philipse Manor in Westchester County, received permission to construct a bridge across Spuyten Duyvil Creek and charge tolls. "King's Bridge", which was located roughly south of and parallel to where West 230th Street lies today, opened in 1693.
Early in its residential development, Riverdale was a 19th-century estate district where many of Manhattan's moguls built their country estates; for example, in northern Riverdale, what is now Fieldston was part of the estate of Major Joseph Delafield, who purchased 250 acres (100 ha) in 1829, and named it after his family's estate in England. At the turn of the century, the new popularity of railroad commute enabled wealthy businessmen to make Riverdale their year-round residence. Fieldston, owned by a private association, is a particularly intact example of a turn-of-the-century upper-class suburb. The Hudson Hill neighborhood retains many of its historic mansions. Riverdale's elite private schools and historic churches also reflect this past. Development of the neighborhood began in the latter half of the 19th century once the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad came through. The tracks originally crossed Spuyten Duyvil Creek and into Manhattan on the west side, but Cornelius Vanderbilt wanted to consolidate his railroad operations into one terminal. He had tracks laid along the north side of the Harlem River so that trains coming south from Albany could join with the Harlem and New Haven lines and come into Manhattan down the Park Avenue main line, along modern-day Park Avenue, into his new Grand Central Depot. This is the route still used by the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line.
The Delafield family laid out lots in Fieldston in 1909 – the year after the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (present-day 1 train) was extended to Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street, intending to develop the land, which at first was called "Delafield Woods". Rather than use a grid plan, civil engineer Albert E. Wheeler, following the suggestions made by Frederick Law Olmsted and James R. Croes in 1876, designed a street plan which followed the contours of the land and preserved as much of the wooded areas as possible. The first house was begun in 1910 and finished in 1911; by the beginning of the 21st century, Fieldston, a privately owned community, was one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in New York City. Leland Weintraub, the commissioner who moved 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.
In 1928, Genevieve Ludlow Griscom, who was a member of a small religious group called the Outer Court of the Order of the Living Christ, built a 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) mansion at 360 West 253rd Street – also addressed as 5200 Longview Place – for the express purpose of housing Jesus Christ when the Second Coming occurred. After being derelict for a number of years under successive owners, the mansion was bought in 1987 by entrepreneur Jerry Galuten, who renovated it into an even more opulent 17 room home. After being on- and off-the market for eight years, with an asking price as high as $15 million, the house sold in January 2017 for $6.25 million.
As the 20th century progressed, upscale apartment buildings and smaller houses were added to the neighborhood. To this day, Riverdale continues to maintain its character as an affluent enclave in the city of New York. The rich history of Riverdale has led to the creation of the Riverdale Historic District.
In May 2009, the FBI ran a sting operation to prevent a bombing plot in which two Riverdale synagogues were the suggested targets. This followed a Molotov cocktail attack in 2000 on a different Riverdale synagogue and the 1989 firebombing of the Riverdale Press.
Riverdale covers about 3 square miles (7.8 km2) in area. It has one of the highest elevations in New York City, affording it views of the Empire State Building, George Washington Bridge, Hudson River and New Jersey Palisades. It is also noted for the numerous parks and expanses of greenery and original forest that complement its hilly landscape. The neighborhood is bordered on the north by the city of Yonkers in Westchester County, and on the west by the Hudson River, but its eastern and southern boundaries are frequently disputed. The AIA Guide to New York City gives Broadway as the eastern boundary, and the Harlem River as the southern. There are several long-debated subsections of Riverdale:
- Central Riverdale (the "downtown" area of Riverdale – from Manhattan College Parkway to West 232nd Street and from the Henry Hudson Parkway to Riverdale Avenue and Waldo Avenue)
- Fieldston (Riverdale south of West 250th Street, east of the Henry Hudson Parkway, north of Manhattan College Parkway, and west of Tibbett Avenue)
- Hudson Hill (Riverdale above West 246th Street and west of Henry Hudson Parkway)
- North Riverdale (Riverdale above West 254th Street and west of Fieldston Road)
- Mosholu (Riverdale East of Fieldston Road and above West 254th Street, includes Spencer Ave, Huxley Rd, Post Rd, and Broadway)
- Spuyten Duyvil / South Riverdale (the southernmost section of Riverdale, below West 232nd Street or West 239th Street by some definitions. Also included is the business, commercial and shopping district located at West 231`Street and Broadway)
- Villanova Heights (a sub-division bounded by Fieldston Road on the east, 250th Street on the south, and the Henry Hudson Parkway on the west and north)
The leafy, scenic enclave of Fieldston was designated a historic district by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2006. There is also a 15-acre Riverdale Historic District in the northwest of the neighborhood, designated in 1990.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Riverdale was 27,860, a change of -153 (-0.5%) from the 28,013 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,139.68 acres (461.21 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 24.4 inhabitants per acre (15,600/sq mi; 6,000/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 67.5% (18,794) White, 7.7% (2,136) African American, 0.1% (26) Native American, 5.3% (1,468) Asian, 0% (4) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (91) from other races, and 1.6% (446) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.6% (4,895) of the population.
The entirety of Community District 8, which comprises Riverdale, Fieldston, and Kingsbridge, had 102,927 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 80.9 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: 20% are between the ages of between 0–17, 28% between 25–44, and 25% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 9% and 18% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 8 was $53,986. In 2018, an estimated 15% of Riverdale residents lived in poverty, compared to 25% in all of the Bronx and 20% in all of New York City. One in eleven residents (9%) 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 52% in Riverdale, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Riverdale is considered high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Riverdale is home to the modernist landmark Saul Victor house, designed by Ferdinand Gottlieb in 1967. Other famous mansions in the Hudson Hill neighborhood include: Greyston (1864), Alderbrook (1880), Stonehurst (1861) and Oaklawn (1863). Since 2005, Central Riverdale has experienced a building boom with the addition of many mid- and high-rise condominium buildings. With a median residence value of $579,196 as of 2013, Riverdale is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City and is considered one of the most sought-after residential neighborhoods.
Before the wider development of Riverdale, housing consisted of large, architecturally distinguished mansions built in the early 20th century, mostly in Georgian- and Tudor-revival styles, which recall scenes of "rural Connecticut" rather than the city. These are mostly concentrated in the Fieldston section of Riverdale, known as the estate area. In addition, more affordable pre-war buildings and smaller houses are scattered throughout Riverdale. The 1950s saw the construction of many low-rise (six-story) brick buildings. By the early to mid-1960s, a number of larger brick towers (10–20 stories) started popping up. Many of these full-service buildings featuring doormen were designed by architect Philip Birnbaum, who designed over 300 buildings in the city, including Skyview, the Windsors, and the Whitehall.
In 1974, a large, fortress-like residential compound and school was established in North Riverdale by the Permanent Mission of the USSR to the United Nations (now the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN) to house diplomats and their families. The 20-story building was constructed from the top down, with the upper floors built first.
By the 1980s, most of the apartment buildings that were owned by single landlords and rented, were converted into cooperatives. Unlike most of the Bronx, Riverdale is mostly owner-occupied housing. Spuyten Duyvil has the greatest concentration of high rises in Riverdale with the Century, 555 Kappock, and Winston Churchill next to one another. Since 2005, Central Riverdale has experienced a building boom with the addition of many mid- and high-rise condominium buildings that contrast with the older brick style.
In August 2008, Columbia University purchased an almost-completed apartment building near Henry Hudson Parkway for use as faculty housing. This building would go on to be named the Arbor. The Arbor is located at 3260 Henry Hudson Parkway, at the corner of West 235th Street. It houses Columbia students who take classes at the CUIMC, Morningside, or Manhattanville campuses. Students sign one-year leases for apartments that have between one and three bedrooms.
The Arbor Shuttle operates between Morningside, CUIMC, and the Arbor, using cutaway vans. It is billed as the main means of transport between the Arbor and Morningside, however it only operates on weekdays on an hourly schedule, so at all other times, residents must use the Bx10 or Bx20 buses and the train to access the other campuses. The shuttle formerly also served the 231 Street station, but has since been cut back to only serve the Arbor.
Lou Gehrig's house
A Pulitzer-Prize-winning weekly newspaper, the Riverdale Press brings news of interest to residents of the neighborhood.
In the United States House of Representatives, Riverdale is located within New York's 16th congressional district, which is represented by Democrat Eliot Engel. Riverdale is part of 34th district of the New York State Senate, represented by Democrat Alessandra Biaggi, and the 81st Assembly district, represented by Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz. In the New York City Council, Riverdale is part of District 11, represented by Democrat Andrew Cohen.
Police and crime
Riverdale is patrolled by the 50th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue. The 50th Precinct ranked 13th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. As of 2018[update], with a non-fatal assault rate of 40 per 100,000 people, Riverdale's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 225 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8 Riverdale is known for having some of the lowest crime rates in New York City.
The 50th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 81.5% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 7 murders, 15 rapes, 110 robberies, 147 felony assaults, 105 burglaries, 458 grand larcenies, and 97 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Riverdale contains a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire station, Engine Co. 52/Ladder Co. 52, at 4550 Henry Hudson Parkway East. Engine Co. 52/Ladder Co. 52 is the only firehouse in Riverdale and the northernmost fire station operated by the FDNY.
As of 2018[update], preterm births are slightly more common in Riverdale than in other places citywide, though births to teenage mothers are less common. In Riverdale, there were 89 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 13.1 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Riverdale 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 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Riverdale is 0.0075 milligrams per cubic metre (7.5×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Ten percent of Riverdale residents are smokers, which is lower than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Riverdale, 24% of residents are obese, 12% are diabetic, and 28% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 21% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-six percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 83% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," higher than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Riverdale, there are 10 bodegas.:10
Post offices and ZIP Codes
Riverdale is located within two ZIP Codes. The area north of Manhattan College Parkway and 239th Street is in 10471, while the area south of these two streets is in 10463. While 10471 is entirely in Riverdale, 10463 also covers the adjacent neighborhoods of Kingsbridge, Bronx, and Marble Hill, Manhattan. The United States Postal Service operates three post offices nearby:
- Riverdale Station – 5951 Riverdale Avenue
- Fieldston Station – 444 West 238th Street
- Spuyten Duyvil Station – 444 West 238th Street
Riverdale generally has a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. While 45% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 18% have less than a high school education and 37% 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 Riverdale students excelling in math rose from 21% in 2000 to 48% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 28% to 33% during the same time period.
Riverdale's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is about the same as the rest of New York City. In Riverdale, 20% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, higher than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 78% of high school students in Riverdale graduate on time, higher than the citywide average of 75%.:6
The public schools are a part of the New York City Department of Education. The public elementary schools are the Spuyten Duyvil School (P.S. 24) and the Robert J. Christen School (P.S. 81). There is one zoned public middle and high school in Riverdale: M.S./H.S 141, the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy. Nearby public high schools that serve the community include the Bronx High School of Science, a specialized high school; John F. Kennedy High School Campus, consisting of four separate high schools; and the IN-Tech Academy MS/HS 368, which also contains a middle school.
Riverdale is home to three top-tier private schools: Horace Mann, Riverdale Country, and Fieldston, all members of the Ivy Preparatory School League; and two Roman Catholic colleges: The College of Mount Saint Vincent and Manhattan College.
An increase in the Jewish population of the neighborhood in the late twentieth century led to Riverdale now being home to top-ranked Jewish day schools, the SAR Academy, an elementary school, and the SAR High School, as well as the Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni, Yeshiva Ohavei Torah, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. Catholic elementary schools in the area are Visitation School, St. Gabriel's School, and St. Margaret of Cortona School, where President John F. Kennedy received his Confirmation.
The area also has several preschools. Kinneret Day School is a private Jewish day school in Spuyten Duyvil, serving grades K through 8 in addition to pre-school. Others are BedRock Preschool, the Riverdale Temple Nursery School, Spuyten Duyvil Preschool, SAR Academy (Early Learning Center), Riverdale Nursery School and Family Center, the Riverdale Presbyterian Church Nursery School, and Riverdale Montessori School.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) operates three branches near Riverdale.
- The Van Cortlandt branch is located at 3882 Cannon Place. The two-story, 5,800-square-foot (540 m2) branch opened in 2019, replacing a smaller one-story branch a few blocks away, which opened in 1969 and consisted of a single room.
- The Riverdale branch is located at 5540 Mosholu Avenue. The branch opened in 1967, replacing a smaller library, and is located in a one-story L-shaped brick building surrounded by a garden.
- The Spuyten Duyvil branch is located at 650 West 235th Street. The one-story branch opened in 1971 and was designed by Giorgio Cavaglieri.
- Bx7: to 168th Street station, Manhattan (via Riverdale Avenue, and Broadway)
- Bx9: to West Farms Square–East Tremont Avenue station (via Broadway)
- Bx10: to Norwood–205th Street station (via Riverdale Avenue, Henry Hudson Parkway, and Johnson Avenue)
- Bx20: to Inwood–207th Street station, Manhattan (via Henry Hudson Parkway, and Johnson Avenue)
- BxM1: express to Midtown Manhattan (via East Side)
- BxM2: express to Penn Station (via West Side)
- BxM3: express to Midtown Manhattan (via Major Deegan Expressway/East Side)
- BxM18: express to Lower Manhattan
- 231st Street station (1 train)
- 238th Street station (1 train)
- Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street station (1 train)
- Bee-Line 1: to Tarrytown, Valhalla, White Plains, or Yonkers
- Bee-Line 1X: express to Westchester Community College and Westchester Medical Center
- Bee-Line 2: to South Westchester Executive Park or Yonkers
- Bee-Line 3 Limited: to Purchase
- Bee-Line 8: to Tuckahoe station
Metro-North commuter railroad service is available at two stations, both on the Hudson Line: the Spuyten Duyvil station at Edsall Avenue and the Riverdale station between West 254th and 255th Streets. Hudson Rail Link connects the Metro-North stations to the surrounding area, with Routes A, B, C, and D serving Riverdale station, and Routes J, K, L, and M serving Spuyten Duyvil station.
Points of interest
- Wave Hill, a combination botanical garden and outdoor art gallery, is located in the so-called Hudson Hill overlooking the Hudson River.
- Gaelic Park, has been owned by Manhattan College since 1991, and is the home field of many of its sports teams, including lacrosse, soccer and softball, as well as the school's intramural sports. Gaelic Park also is headquarters of the New York GAA, where Gaelic football and hurling are played in the New York metropolitan area. Gaelic Park is the home field for Rugby United New York in Major League Rugby. Gaelic Park is located at West 240th Street.
- Bell Tower Park next to the Henry Hudson Parkway has the Riverdale Monument, a stone war memorial built in 1930.
Houses of worship
- Chabad of Riverdale
- Christ Church Riverdale
- Church of the Visitation
- Congregation Tehillah
- Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale
- Edgehill Church at Spuyten Duyvil
- Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
- Riverdale Jewish Center
- Riverdale Presbyterian Church
- Riverdale Temple
- St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church
- Saint Margaret of Cortona Church
- St Peter's Greek Orthodox Church
- Young Israel of Riverdale
- Young Israel Ohab Tzedek
- Kehilah of Riverdale
- Bronx Community Board 8 is a group of community members working under the mandate of the City Charter to monitor the delivery of city services, establish budget priorities, and influence land-use decisions.
- Riverdale Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Corp. is supported by community donations, and offers fast, reliable medical treatment and transport free of charge.
- Riverdale YM-YWHA is a community center for youth, adult and senior activities.
- Riverdale Children's Theater is a local theatre company that has performed many pilot productions of musicals.
- Derfner Judaica Museum maintains a collection of approximately 1,400 objects used in traditional Jewish ceremonies and rituals, as well as Jewish art.
- Wave Hill, the former residence of Mark Twain among others, is a botanical garden featuring two preserved historic mansions. It has exhibit spaces with a rotating series of art exhibitions, and performance spaces with a noted series of concerts.
- Sean Altman (born 1961), musician, songwriter and founder of Rockapella
- Baron Ambrosia, real name Justin Fornal, film director
- William Henry Appleton (1814–1899), publisher, lived at Wave Hill
- Hannelore Baron (1926–1987), artist known for the highly personal, book-sized, abstract collages and box constructions that she began exhibiting in the late 1960s.
- Béla Bartók (1881–1945), composer
- Rudolf Bing (1902–1997), former General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera
- Jonathan Brewster Bingham (1914–1986), member of the House of Representatives
- June Bingham Birge (1919–2007), author and playwright
- Ron Blomberg (born 1948), first designated hitter in baseball history
- Ted Brown (1924–2005), radio personality
- Alexander Calder (1898–1976), sculptor, lived in Spuyten Duyvil
- Alexander Stirling Calder (1870–1945), sculptor, father of Alexander Calder
- Chris Chambliss (born 1948), former first baseman and hitting coach
- Ronni Chasen (1946–2010), Hollywood publicist, murder victim
- R. Inslee Clark Jr. (1935–1999), educator, administrator, and a key player in the transition of the Ivy League into co-education in the 1960s.
- Seth Farber, rabbi and historian
- Fernando Ferrer (born 1950), former Bronx Borough President
- Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996), jazz singer
- Sidney Frey (1920–1968), Audio Fidelity Records, producer of the first stereo record
- Fred W. Friendly (1915–1998), former president of CBS News
- Julia Garner (born 1994), actress
- Lou Gehrig (1903–1941), New York Yankees baseball player
- Jordan Gelber (born 1975), actor
- Mark Goodman (born 1952), one of the five original MTV VJs
- Blu Greenberg (born 1936), writer specializing in Modern Orthodox Judaism and women's issues
- Irving Greenberg (born 1933), Modern Orthodox rabbi, Jewish-American scholar and author
- Nat Holman (1896–1995), Hall of Fame basketball player and CCNY coach
- Charles Evans Hughes, III (1915–1985), architect
- H. Stuart Hughes (1916–1999), professor and activist
- Richard Joel (born 1950), President of Yeshiva University
- Leatrice Joy (1893-1985), actress
- Eric Kandel (born 1929), Columbia University neuroscientist, Nobel laureate
- Eunice Kennedy (1921–2009), founder of the Special Olympics
- Joan Bennett Kennedy (born 1936), spouse of Senator Ted Kennedy
- John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), U.S. president, lived at 5040 Independence Avenue as a child
- Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (1888–1969), patriarch of the Kennedy Family, US Ambassador to the UK, SEC Chairman
- Robert F. Kennedy (1925–1968), U.S. Senator, Attorney General and Presidential candidate
- Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish (1920–1948), Marchionness of Hartington, member of the Kennedy Family
- Bernard Kerik (born 1955), former New York City Police Commissioner
- Theodore W. Kheel (1914–2010), labor lawyer
- G. Oliver Koppell (born 1940), former New York State Attorney General, former member of the New York City Council
- Fiorello H. La Guardia (1882–1947), Mayor of New York City during the 1930s and 1940s
- John L. Lahey (born 1946), president of Quinnipiac University
- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt (born 1934), journalist, critic and novelist
- Timothy "Speed" Levitch (born 1970), tour guide and voice actor
- Jack Lew (born 1955), United States Secretary of the Treasury
- Chris Lighty (1968-2012), music industry executive and hip-hop artist manager
- Sal Maglie (1917–1992), pitcher, played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and New York Yankees
- Willie Mays (born 1931), baseball star
- Sister Margaret McEntee (born 1935), Catholic nun and inspiration for Doubt: A Parable
- Tim Morehouse (born 1978), Olympic fencer
- Tracy Morgan (born 1968), comedian and actor
- Elie Nadelman (1882–1946), Polish/American sculptor
- Hugh Panero (born 1956), CEO of XM Satellite Radio from June 1998 to August 2007.
- George Walbridge Perkins (1862–1920), first president of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission
- Jennifer Raab, president of Hunter College
- Ed Rendell (born 1944), Governor of Pennsylvania
- Alfonso Ribeiro (born 1971), actor, television director, dancer and show host
- Theodore Roosevelt Sr. (1831–1878), banker and father of the U.S. President
- Jonathan Rosenblatt, former rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center
- Herschel Schacter (1917-2013), Orthodox rabbi who was chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
- Jacob J. Schacter (born 1950), rabbi
- James H. Scheuer (1920–2005), member of the House of Representatives
- Ben Schwartz (born 1981), comedic actor
- David Shapiro (born 1947), poet and literary critic
- Carly Simon (born 1945), singer/songwriter
- Joanna Simon (born 1940), mezzo-soprano
- Lucy Simon (born 1943), composer
- Richard L. Simon (1899–1960), co-founder of Simon & Schuster
- Regina Spektor (born 1980), singer-songwriter
- Eliot Spitzer (born 1959), former Governor and Attorney General of New York, born in Riverdale, attended Horace Mann
- U Thant (1909–1974), former United Nations Secretary-General
- Kool Keith Thornton (born 1964), hip-hop artist and founding member of the Ultramagnetic MCs
- Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957), conductor
- Mark Twain (1835–1910), author
- Steven Tyler (born 1948), lead singer of rock band Aerosmith
- Neil deGrasse Tyson (born 1958), astrophysicist and television host
- Rebecca Walker (born 1969), writer
- Alexander S. Webb (1835–1911), Union Army general, recipient of Medal of Honor
- Avi Weiss (born 1944), activist Open Orthodox rabbi
- Tommy Wonder (1914–1993), dancer, actor, choreographer, and artist manager.
- Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (1921–2011), Nobel laureate
In popular culture
Riverdale has often been cited in literature, film and television. Exteriors of many of Riverdale's locations have been used in both television and movie production.
- In On the Road, Horace Mann School-educated Jack Kerouac writes about getting off at a subway stop in Riverdale: "Filled with dreams of what I'd do in Chicago, in Denver, and then finally in San Fran, I took the Seventh Avenue Subway to the end of the line at 242nd Street, and there took a trolley into Yonkers; in downtown Yonkers I transferred to an outgoing trolley and went to the city limits on the east bank of the Hudson River."
- Tom Wolfe's New York City-based 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities includes many references to Riverdale.
- In the 2003 novel The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly's twin daughters attend the Horace Mann School in Riverdale.
- In 1938's Bringing Up Baby, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant's characters visit a Riverdale estate owned by the fictional "Peabody" family.
- Elia Kazan's 1961 Splendor in the Grass starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty included several high school scenes shot at Horace Mann School, such as a post-party scene outside Horace Mann's Prettyman Gymnasium. The scenes at the asylum where Natalie Wood's character goes for treatment following her nervous breakdown were shot on one of the campuses of Riverdale Country School.
- A mansion near Wave Hill was used as a set in the film The Godfather (1972).
- In Martin Scorsese's 1973 drama Mean Streets, mobsters swindle a group of Riverdale teens trying to buy fireworks.
- In the 1974 film Crazy Joe, an aerial shot follows characters driving from Manhattan, over the Henry Hudson Bridge, past buildings along the Hudson River, to Wave Hill, where an outdoor scene continues.
- Much of Woody Allen's film Husbands and Wives (1992) takes place at the Riverdale residence of characters Jack and Sally.
- In Spike Lee's 2002 film 25th Hour, Rosario Dawson's character Naturelle snaps at Edward Norton's character Monty, "What, I can't be from Riverdale?"
- In the 2004 film Secret Window Mort Rainey's ex-wife lives in Riverdale, New York; several camera shots show the Henry Hudson Parkway and glimpses of Riverdale.
- In the 2005 biopic Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney's character Fred W. Friendly states that he and his family are relocating to a "nice house in Riverdale".
- In the 2010 romantic drama Blue Valentine, Michelle Williams's character is encouraged to work in Riverdale.
- In the 2013 remake of the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Windsor South, an apartment building along the Henry Hudson Parkway, is shown.
- On television's Mad Men, Joan Holloway reveals that she and her husband are considering relocating to Riverdale, explaining, "It's close to Columbia Presbyterian. Plus, Greg wants a yard".
- In Season 3, Episode 2 of Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf says, "Riverdale doesn't count".
- In Season 3, Episode 19 of Wizards of Waverly Place, Theresa Russo (Maria Canals Barrera) assumes that Nancy Lukey (Bella Thorne), her son's newly introduced girlfriend, is a rich kid because she lives in Riverdale.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- "Riverdale neighborhood in New York". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "Riverdale neighborhood in Bronx, New York (NY) 10463, 10471 detailed profile" City-Data.com
- "Riverdale neighborhood in Bronx, New York (NY) 10463, 10471 detailed profile"
- Ultan, Lloyd. "Riverdale" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2.. pp. 1108–09.
- "Editorial comment: Where we live now". The Riverdale Press. The Bronx. July 10, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
Just what are Riverdale’s boundaries? Community historians and residents have been trying to answer that question for decades.
- Boland, Ed, Jr. "F.Y.I.: Beating the Devil" The New York Times (October 13, 2002)
- Fernicola, Richard G. (2001). Twelve Days of Terror: A Definitive Investigation of the 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press. pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-1-58574-575-3. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
Antony Van Corlear shark.
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To the would-be bombers of two Bronx houses of worship, the distinctions between Reform and Orthodox Judaism were either irrelevant or invisible
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Altman, who grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, doesn't consider himself religious.
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- Gulizia, Stefano. "Bartók in New York: I. Manhattan Noise (Allegro non troppo)", Alla Turca, March 7, 2014. Accessed March 16, 2017. "At this stage, the whole family had already moved into a second flat in Riverdale, in the Bronx, which was leafy and quiet then, not too different from the suburban area of Csalán út in Hungary where they used to live."
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Sir Rudolf Bing, who as the...general manager of the Metropolitan Opera from 1950 to 1972...died yesterday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Yonkers. He was 95 and lived at the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale in the Bronx.
- Pace, Eric. "Ex-Rep. Jonathan Bingham, 72, Dies", The New York Times, July 4, 1986. Accessed November 5, 2016. "Former Representative Jonathan B. Bingham, the veteran liberal Democrat from the Bronx, died yesterday at Presbyterian Hospital. He was 72 years old and lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx."
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June Bingham Birge, the author of books and plays, died on Aug. 21 at her home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
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I lived in Riverdale, in the same building with Willie Mays
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As a teenager in the 1950s, Jonathan Schwartz, another New York radio colleague, watched Mr. Brown broadcasting from his basement studio at his home in Riverdale, in the Bronx.
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- Baum, Gary. "What Really Happened the Night Hollywood Power Publicist Ronni Chasen Was Killed?", The Hollywood Reporter, November 16, 2016. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Chasen was born in Kingston, N.Y., in 1946 (as Veronica Cohen; she supposedly took her last name as a nod to the since-shuttered Hollywood hotspot Chasen's). She was raised in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx and the Washington Heights section of Manhattan before moving to L.A. in the 1970s, initially to pursue acting, having already appeared on Guiding Light and The Patty Duke Show."
- "Russell Inslee Clark Jr., 64, a Dean at Yale", The New York Times, August 7, 1999. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Russell Inslee Clark Jr., who as dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale University presided over the enrollment of Yale's first women in 1969, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Wallingford, Conn. He was 64 and lived in Riverdale, the Bronx."
- Gorenberg, Gershom (March 2, 2008). "How Do You Prove You're a Jew?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
Farber ... grew up in Riverdale, N.Y....
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- Bernstein, Nina. "Ward of the State; The Gap in Ella Fitzgerald's Life", The New York Times, June 23, 1996. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Her most recent biographer, Stuart Nicholson, has surmised that the authorities caught up with her and placed her in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale.... But the Riverdale orphanage -- the only one open to black children -- was overwhelmed as the Depression converged with the great migration of poor blacks from the rural South."
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... Friendly was at home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx...when he died.
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Henry Louis Gehrig died at his house in the pleasant New York City neighborhood of Riverdale.
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- Stern, Sarah (April 1994). "'Frumpies' Come to Town And Observe Shabbos in Riverdale". The Forward. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
'Now it's commonplace,' says Blu Greenberg, a long time Riverdale resident, author and feminist.
- Goldberger, Paul "Charles E. Hughes 3d Dead; Leader In Bank Architecture", The New York Times, January 10, 1985. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Mr. Hughes, who lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, was the grandson of Charles Evans Hughes, the former Chief Justice of the United States."
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When Joseph P. Kennedy moved from Riverdale to greater things, the Hugheses thriftily bought his house
- McNeil, Kate (January 3, 2008). "For Yeshiva's president, life can imitate television". The Riverdale Press. Bronx, NY. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
Riverdale resident Richard Joel...
- "Leatrice Joy, 91, Dies; Actress in Silent Films", The New York Times, May 18, 1985. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Leatrice Joy, a leading silent-film actress, died of acute anemia Monday at the High Ridge House nursing home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. She was 91 years old."
- "Eric R. Kandel - Biographical". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
Finally, Denise was on the Columbia faculty and our house in Riverdale was near Columbia
- McPhee, Michele; Wedge, Dave (August 2005). "The Fall of Joan". Boston. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
Virginia Joan Bennett was born September 9, 1936, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx...
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John F. Kennedy spent his youth in an enormous white mansion on Independence Avenue
- Bernstein, Nina; Stein, Robin (December 16, 2004). "Mystery Woman in Kerik Case: Nanny". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
Most puzzled about the nanny, perhaps, are former neighbors of the Keriks and their kin. In the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where the family lived in a first-floor apartment for years
- Jackson, Nancy. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Fieldston; A Leafy Enclave in the Hills of the Bronx", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Fiorello H. La Guardia, a three-time mayor of New York, lived and died at 5020 Goodridge Avenue.... After World War II, Richard Simon, founder of Simon & Schuster, bought a Georgian red-brick Baum house where he brought up his three musical daughters: Joanna, Lucy and Carly. Today, residents include United Nations ambassadors from Benin and Guinea; Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College and former head of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission; and G. Oliver Koppell, the former New York attorney general newly elected to the City Council. Theodore Kheel, the labor lawyer, has a house around the corner from Ruth Friendly..."
- Robbins, Tom. "Ted Kheel, 96, City Lion of Labor Settlements", The Village Voice, November 15, 2010. Accessed August 24, 2020. "He helped raise funds for Martin Luther King Jr.’s cause, hosting the minister at his gracious home in Riverdale in the early 60s when money from the north was a lifeline to the civil rights battles being waged down south."
- "If You Haven’t Heard Of Oliver Koppell", The Bronx Chronicle, May 4, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2020. "With Riverdale resident and former NYS Attorney General Oliver Koppell finally set to announce a challenge against Klein, East Bronx residents will be hearing alot from Koppell in the coming months, as the campaign heats up an mailboxes start to fill up with information informing voters about the race."
- McCarthy, Peggy. "A New York Irishman, and Flaunting It", The New York Times, March 16, 1997. Accessed November 30, 2019. "When John L. Lahey was growing up in St. Margaret's parish in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, he thought the world was Irish."
- "Novelist Chri" (Press release). Archived from the original on August 31, 2006.
. "... Lehmann-Haupt resides in Riverdale with his wife, writer Natalie Robins.
- Bruni, Frank. "Manhattan Through a Warped Window; Featured in a Film: A Homeless Tour Guide's Offbeat City View", The New York Times, October 1, 1998. Accessed November 30, 2019. "Mr. Levitch grew up in a middle-class Jewish family of five in Riverdale, the Bronx, and attended Horace Mann, a respected private school."
- "14 things you should know about Jack Lew". The Washington Post.
- Kuvadia, Aimee; and Sugarman, Raphael. "Chris Lighty, hip-hop pioneer, commits suicide", Riverdale Press, September 5, 2012. Accessed November 30, 2019. "Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty, 44, born Darrell Lighty, died the morning of Aug. 30 in his single-family home in Spuyten Duyvil from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to police."
- Collins, Glenn. "Baseball: Subway Series; 1956 vs. 2000? It's Deja Vu All Over Again, Except for When It's Not", The New York Times, October 21, 2000. Accessed November 30, 2019. "In 1956, the Dodger legend Pee Wee Reese occupied a modest brick duplex on Barwell Terrace in Bay Ridge, pitcher Sal Maglie lived in Riverdale and many Yankees occupied an apartment hotel on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx."
- James, Megan. "No doubt about it, nun inspired playwright", The Riverdale Press, January 29, 2009. Accessed November 5, 2016. "A Sister of Charity for 55 years, Sister McEntee is a native of Riverdale."
- Wolfer, Sondra (July 21, 2008). "Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse takes his stab at being the best". Daily News. New York. Retrieved August 5, 2008.
Tim Morehouse took up fencing at the Riverdale Country School as an excuse to get out of gym class
- Hartocollis, Anemona (March 20, 2008). "Apartment Complex Official Accused of Taking $1 Million". The New York Times.
The Century, built in 1976, is home to Tracy Morgan, the actor and comedian.
- Glueck, Grace. "Art: Peru's 'Nazca Lines' As Seen From Air", The New York Times, February 5, 1982. Accessed November 30, 2019. "Feb. 20 marks the 100th birthday of the sculptor Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), who spent the last 26 years of his life living and working in the Riverdale section of the Bronx."
- Panero, Hugh. "Getting By, Getting Through", The New York Times, June 25, 2006. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Born in Manhattan; grew up in Riverdale in the Bronx"
- Foderaro, Lisa W. "Multitasking, With Time for the Roses", The New York Times, July 2, 2010. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Jennifer J. Raab, who has been the president of Hunter College for nine years, has also been an urban planner, corporate lawyer, campaign manager and, before leading Hunter, chairwoman of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.... On Sundays, Ms. Raab unwinds at home in Riverdale with her husband and daughter, Miranda Goodwin-Raab, 17."
- Dose, Sarah. "Alfonso Ribeiro reveals origin of 'Carlton Dance'", The Des Moines Register, October 13, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2017. "I was born and raised in Riverdale, N.Y. After starring on Broadway and appearing with Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial, I moved to Los Angeles in 1984 when I was 12 to work on the show Silver Spoons."
- Fox, Margalit. "Rabbi Herschel Schacter Is Dead at 95; Cried to the Jews of Buchenwald: 'You Are Free'", The New York Times, March 27, 2013. Accessed November 30, 2019. "A resident of the Riverdale section of the Bronx, Rabbi Schacter is survived by his wife, the former Pnina Gewirtz, whom he married in 1948; a son, Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, who confirmed his father’s death; a daughter, Miriam Schacter; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren."
- Staff. "Westchester's Ben Schwartz and His Ninja (Acting) Skills", Westchester magazine, September 2012. Accessed March 28, 2017. "I grew up in Riverdale in the Northern Bronx initially and then moved to Westchester, and had a pretty good time in each place."
- Parhizkar, Maryam (May–June 2007). "David Shapiro '68: Four Decades of Poems". Columbia College Today. New York. Archived from the original on March 27, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
- Carly Simon, Music Museum of New England. Accessed August 24, 2020. "On June 25, 1945, Carly Simon, a New England music icon, was born in the Bronx, NY. Although she grew up in Riverdale, NY, she chose to live most of her life in Massachusetts, a state which happily adopted her as one of its own."
- Lowenstein, Roger (July 16, 2006). "As Governor, What Would His Battles Be?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2008.
Eliot and his two siblings grew up in the prosperous Riverdale enclave of the Bronx...
- Dunlap, David W. (November 16, 1987). "Bronx Residents Fighting Plans Of a Developer". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
A group of neighbors from Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil has demanded that the city acquire as a public park the 4.75 acre parcel known as the Douglas-U Thant estate, north of 232d Street, between Palisade and Douglas Avenues.
- Frank, Mortimer H. (April 2002). "A Toscanini Odyssey". The Juilliard Journal Online. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
That archive was housed at Wave Hill, Toscanini's Riverdale residence during World War II
- "Interview with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson". Sandra Kitt.
- Walker, Rebecca (2000). Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self. San Val, Incorporated. ISBN 9780613494052.
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- Stern, Eliyahu (May 24, 2002). "Leaping to respectability". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
Based in the affluent Jewish enclave of Riverdale, in the New York City borough of the Bronx, Weiss has never really been accepted in the upper echelons of the US Jewish establishment.
- "Tommy Wonder, 78, Ex-Ziegfeld Dancer", The New York Times, December 18, 1993. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Tommy Wonder, a principal dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1943, died last Saturday at Cabrini Medical Center. He was 78 and lived in Riverdale, the Bronx."
- "Rosalyn Yalow - Biographical". Nobel Media AB 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
During that period Aaron and I had two children, Benjamin and Elanna. We bought a house in Riverdale, less than a mile from the VA.
- Kerouac, Jack (2007). On the Road (50th Anniversary ed.). Viking. p. 10. ISBN 9780670063260.
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