Scarsdale, New York

Coordinates: 40°59′32″N 73°47′13″W / 40.99222°N 73.78694°W / 40.99222; -73.78694
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Scarsdale, New York
The Scarsdale Post Office
The Scarsdale Post Office
Official seal of Scarsdale, New York
Official logo of Scarsdale, New York
Location of Scarsdale, New York
Location of Scarsdale, New York
Scarsdale is located in New York
Location in the United States
Scarsdale is located in the United States
Scarsdale (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°59′32″N 73°47′13″W / 40.99222°N 73.78694°W / 40.99222; -73.78694
Country United States
State New York
SettledMarch 21, 1701
Incorporated (town)March 7, 1788
Incorporated (village)May 24, 1915
Named forSutton Scarsdale, England
 • MayorJustin K. Arest
 • Village ManagerRobert Cole
 • Total6.68 sq mi (17.31 km2)
 • Land6.67 sq mi (17.29 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
217 ft (66 m)
 • Total18,253
 • Density2,734.53/sq mi (1,055.78/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code914
FIPS code36-65431
GNIS feature0977410

Scarsdale is a town and village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The Town of Scarsdale is coextensive with the Village of Scarsdale, but the community has opted to operate solely with a village government, one of several villages in the state that have a similar governmental situation.[2] As of the 2020 census, Scarsdale's population was 18,253.[3]


Colonial era[edit]

Caleb Heathcote purchased land that would become Scarsdale at the end of the 17th century and, on March 21, 1701, had it elevated to a royal manor. He named the lands after his ancestral home in Derbyshire, England. The first local census of 1712 counted twelve inhabitants, including seven African slaves. When Caleb died in 1721, his daughters inherited the property. The estate was broken up in 1774, and the town was officially founded on March 7, 1788.

The town saw fighting during the American Revolution when the Continental and British armies clashed briefly at what is now the junction of Garden Road and Mamaroneck Road. The British commander, Sir William Howe, lodged at a farmhouse on Garden Road that remains standing. Scarsdale's wartime history formed the basis for James Fenimore Cooper's 1821 novel, The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground, written while the author lived at the Angevine Farm in the present-day Heathcote section of town.[4]


According to the first federal census in 1790, the town's population was 281. By 1840, that number had declined to 255—the vast majority farmers and farm workers. In 1846, the New York and Harlem Railroad connected Scarsdale to New York City, leading to an influx of commuters.

Scarsdale Woman's Club - Historic Oak Tree (September 2012)

The Arthur Suburban Home Company purchased a 150-acre (0.61 km2) farm in 1891 and converted it into a subdevelopment of one-family dwellings, starting a transformation of the community from rural to suburban. Civil institutions soon appeared: the Heathcote Association (1904), the Town Club (1904), the Scarsdale Woman's Club (1918) and the Scarsdale League of Women Voters (1921). Scarsdale High School and Greenacres Elementary School were built in 1912, and the Edgewood Elementary School opened in 1918. The first store in Scarsdale opened on the corner of Popham Road and Garth Road in 1912. By 1915, the population approached 3000. By 1930, that number approached 10,000.

In 1940, Nazi agent Gerhardt Alois Westrick secretly met with American business leaders at his Scarsdale home until public pressure—a reaction to articles in the New York Herald Tribune produced by British Security Coordination in New York[5]—drove his family from the community.[6][7] He was subsequently deported for pursuing activities unfriendly to the United States.


Harwood Court

Scarsdale became the subject of national controversy in the 1950s when a "Committee of Ten" led by Otto Dohrenwend alleged "Communist infiltration" in the public schools.[8] A thorough investigation by the town rejected these claims. This same group, known as the Scarsdale Citizens Committee, sued to prevent a benefit for the Freedom Riders from taking place at the public high school in 1963 because some of the performers (Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Pete Seeger) were allegedly "communist sympathizers and subversives."[9]

Another controversy enveloped the town in 1961, when the Scarsdale Golf Club, headed by Charles S. McCallister, refused to allow a young man who had converted from Judaism into the Episcopal Church, Michael Cunningham Hernstadt, to escort a young woman, Pamela Nottage, to her debut at the club. At the time, it was the club's policy to prohibit Jews from the premises.[10] In response, the Rev. George French Kempsell of the Church of Saint James the Less announced that he would ban any supporters of the club's decision from receiving Holy Communion.[10] The event marked a turning point toward the decline of anti-Semitism in the town.[10]

Scarsdale's public library, which had been housed in historic Wayside Cottage since 1928, moved to its present structure on the White Plains Post Road in 1951.[11] The driving force behind the library was New York City publisher S. Spencer Scott, who raised $100,000 for the project after the village rejected a bond issue to fund the building in 1938. The new library opened with 27,000 books and Sylvia C. Hilton serving as the first librarian.[11]

The last of the town's five elementary schools, Heathcote School, opened in September 1953. The $1,000,000 architectural landmark was designed by Perkins & Will of Chicago. Walter B. Cocking, the president of the New York State Committee for the Public Schools, delivered the dedication address.[12]

In 1967, U.S. Secretary of State and former longtime resident Dean Rusk returned to Scarsdale at the height of the Vietnam War to receive the town's Man of the Year Award and was greeted with a silent protest.[13]

Scarsdale was the subject of a landmark United States Supreme Court decision, ACLU v. Scarsdale (1985), that established the so-called "reindeer rule" regarding public nativity scenes and upheld the right of local religious groups to place crèches on public property.

Scarsdale was involved in another United States Supreme Court case in 1985, Board of Trustees of Scarsdale v. McCreary, concerning the display of privately sponsored nativity scenes on public property.

On January 1, 2022, the village of Scarsdale banned the sale of all tobacco and cannabis products as well as smoking on public property for people of all ages. After the 60 day grace period, a 100 dollar fine will be imposed by law enforcement on violators.[14]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17 km2), of which 0.15% is water. It is located approximately 7 miles to the border of New York City (in The Bronx), 11 miles from the northern tip of Manhattan, and 20 miles from Midtown Manhattan, which may be reached by Metro-North Railroad express train in approximately 30 minutes.


The town is in a humid continental climate zone (Köppen climate classification: Dfa), with cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers and four distinct seasons.[15] Scarsdale is just within the hardiness zone 7a, along with New York City and Long Island in New York state, with temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit being rare.

Climate data for Scarsdale, New York
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 39.2
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 20.1
Record low °F (°C) −10
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.56
Average snowfall inches (cm) 9.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.5 8.1 9.3 9.8 10.9 9.3 9.0 8.7 7.6 6.7 9.2 9.4 113.4
Source 1: Weatherbase[16]
Source 2: Homefacts (precipitation only)[17] The Weather Channel (extremes)[18]


Scarsdale is divided into five neighborhoods, which correspond to the public elementary schools: Greenacres, Fox Meadow, Heathcote, Quaker Ridge, and Edgewood.[19]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

As of the 2000 census,[21] there were 17,823 people, 5,662 households, and 4,993 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,685.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,037.0/km2). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 873.2 per square mile (337.0/km).2

According to the 2000 Census, the race distribution of Scarsdale was: White (non-Hispanic) 84.1%, Hispanic or Latino 2.6%, Asian 12.6%, African-American 1.5%.

There were 5,662 households, out of which 51.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 81.8% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 10.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.14 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the village, the age distribution of the population shows 32.8% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $182,792, and the median income for a family was $291,542. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $62,319 for females. The per capita income for the village was $89,907. That ranks as the 59th highest income in the country and second most for towns with a population of over 10,000. About 1.7% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.

Ethnic groups[edit]

As of 2000 Scarsdale was a favorite location for Japanese expatriates working in the US. According to Lisa W. Foderaro of The New York Times it was well known in Japan as a place with good housing stock and schools.[22] By 1991, many Japanese businesspeople with work assignments in New York City chose to move en masse to Scarsdale.[23] The large settlement of Japanese caused friction among the American population, particularly students at Scarsdale High School. The Japanese residents were unable to take part in much of the town political sphere partly because they were not citizens and partly due to lack of familiarity with American politics. Many Japanese businesses appeared to cater to the community.[24]

Scarsdale has a large and active Jewish population, and there also are burgeoning communities of Indians, Chinese and others.[25][26]

Arts and culture[edit]


Scarsdale Public Library

The library is one of 38 public libraries in the Westchester Library System. The 25,000 square foot library building houses a collection of over 147,000 books and audiovisual materials. The library was renovated extensively, and after operating at a temporary location for several years, re-opened in 2021. Approximately 397,084 items are checked out of the library each year.[27]

Historic sites[edit]

The Caleb Hyatt House, Scarsdale Railroad Station, Scarsdale Woman's Club, United States Post Office, and Wayside Cottage are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[28]


The Scarsdale Town Pool was the swimming venue for the 2007 Empire State Games. Scarsdale is home to the Scarsdale Concours d'Elegance, an annual auto show for charity, as well as the Southern Westchester Food and Wine Festival.


Scarsdale selects its Board of Trustees using a nonpartisan system that dates back to 1911. Candidates for office are privately interviewed by a diversely composed committee and then nominated for office. New York State law mandates that these nominees must be democratically elected; however, nominated candidates are rarely contested in the general election. The coordinating Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party states "The Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party promotes the election of non-partisan candidates for village mayor, village trustees and village justice. Our local non-partisan system encourages cooperative, deliberative and open civic government to attract highly qualified individuals to public service.".[29]


Scarsdale High School from the Brewster Road entrance

The Scarsdale Union Free School District operates five elementary schools serving families from different areas of the town: Edgewood, Fox Meadow, Greenacres, Heathcote and Quaker Ridge. It also operates Scarsdale Middle School and Scarsdale High School. Heathcote Elementary School received the National Blue Ribbon Award in 2020 [30] and Scarsdale High School received it in 1983.[31]

The French-American School of New York (FASNY) has its preschool campus in Scarsdale.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York operates Catholic schools in Westchester County.


The Scarsdale Inquirer, a weekly newspaper, reports on local issues. The newspaper began publishing in 1901.[32] also provides extensive weekly news coverage. Scarsdale is served by three PEG (Public, Educational, Government) cable television stations: Scarsdale Public Television (SPTV) on channels 42 and 76, Scarsdale Government Television on channels 43 and 75, and Scarsdale Public Schools (SPS) TV on channels 27 and 77.



Scarsdale railroad station

Metro-North Railroad stops at the Scarsdale station. Scarsdale is served by the Bee-Line Bus System.

Fire department[edit]

Full-time fire and rescue protection is provided by both professional and volunteer firefighters of the Scarsdale Fire Department.[33]

There are three fire stations strategically located within the Village. The Fire Department's Headquarters is located at 50 Tompkins Road. Fire Station No. 1 is located on the corner of Popham and Post Roads next to Village Hall. Fire Station No. 3 is located at 56 Crossway.

The Fire Department was founded in 1893, with the first station being located on Sprague Road.


The Scarsdale Police Department was founded in 1909. As of today, the department consists of 45 full-time Police Officers, 9 civilian employees, and 14 School Crossing Guards. The department is divided into three sections: Investigations, Patrol, and Support Services.

Two officers have been killed in the line of duty: Sgt. John J. Harrison in 1923 and Officer Charles Ackerly in 1956. [1]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Legal Memorandum LG06". New York State Office of General Counsel. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2020 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Scarsdale town, Westchester County, New York". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 27, 1996. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "History of Scarsdale". Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  5. ^ The Secret History of British intelligence in the Americas, 1940–1945, pp. 56–57.
  6. ^ "German Forced to Give Up His Scarsdale Home", The Evening Standard, August 3, 1940.
  7. ^ "WESTRICK TO QUIT HOME IN SCARSDALE; Nazi Agent, Under Investigation for Car License Application, Drives 'Perfectly' in Test", The New York Times, August 3, 1940.
  8. ^ "SCARSDALE HEARS RED CHARGE AGAIN; School Head Tells Citizens' Group Choice Is Among Bare, Rich or Dictated Programs". The New York Times. April 8, 1952.
  9. ^ O'Connor, Carol A. A Sort of Utopia, Scarsdale: 1891–1981, published 1983.
  10. ^ a b c Stevens, John W. (January 13, 1961). "Scarsdale Parish Rector Limits Communion Over Anti-Semitism". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b Folsom, Merril. "Scarsdale Opens Its New Library", The New York Times, October 2, 1951.
  12. ^ Education Notes, New York Times, May 23, 1954
  13. ^ "Rusk Runs Into Peace Vigil in Scarsdale", The Norwalk Hour, March 8, 1967.
  14. ^ "Scarsdale smoking law takes effect January 1". Mid Hudson News. December 27, 2021. Archived from the original on January 20, 2022. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  15. ^ Peel, M. C.; Finlayson, B. L.; McMahon, T. A. "World Map of Köppen-Geiger climate classification". The University of Melbourne. Archived from the original on January 13, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Weather for Scarsdale, New York, United States of America - Travel, Vacation and Reference Information". Canty and Associates LLC. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "Scarsdale Westchester County New York average temperature, sunshine and precipitation data". Archived from the original on March 15, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  18. ^ "Monthly Averages for Scarsdale, NY (10583)". The Weather Channel. November 2011. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  19. ^ "Areas of Scarsdale - Heathcote, Quaker Ridge, Greenarces, Fox Meadow and Edgewood". Archived from the original on July 30, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 27, 1996. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  22. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. "For Expatriate Families, A Home Away From Home; Foreign Enclaves Dot the Landscape as County Attracts Temporary Residents" Archived December 4, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, May 7, 2000. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  23. ^ Handelman, David. "The Japanning of Scarsdale: East Meets Westchester." New York Magazine (ISSN 0028-7369). New York Media, LLC, April 29, 1991. Vol. 24, No. 17. 40 Archived April 19, 2023, at the Wayback Machine-45. - CITED: p. 41 Archived April 19, 2023, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Handelman, David. "The Japanizing of Scarsdale: East Meets Westchester." New York Magazine (ISSN 0028-7369). New York Media, LLC, April 29, 1991. Vol. 24, No. 17. 40 Archived April 19, 2023, at the Wayback Machine-45. CITED: p. 42.
  25. ^ Powell, Mike. "Scarsdale, N.Y., Real Estate Buying Guide". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 19, 2023. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  26. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (February 20, 2015). "Muslim Scholar, Looking to 'Speak the Truth,' Teaches the Holocaust and Islam". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  27. ^ "Scarsdale Library » About Us". Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  28. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  29. ^ "Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party". Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  30. ^ "NBRS Heathcote Elementary School of Scarsdale, NY". Archived from the original on August 15, 2022. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  31. ^ "NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS PROGRAM Schools Recognized 1982 Through 2015" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on August 15, 2022. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  32. ^ "Library of Congress: Chronicling America: The Scarsdale Inquirer". Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  33. ^ "Fire Department". Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  34. ^ Sheldon's Election Speech (Clip) | Young Sheldon | TBS, archived from the original on November 4, 2022, retrieved November 4, 2022
  35. ^ "I'll Know". Archived from the original on July 16, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  36. ^ "The Summer of George". Seinfeld Scripts. May 15, 1997. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  37. ^ "USA Network: Rick Hoffman Has a Question for Suits Fans About How Well They Know Louis Litt". August 18, 2016. Archived from the original on September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  38. ^ "Friends". Archived from the original on July 21, 2022. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  39. ^ Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2009
  40. ^ Cooper, James Fenimore (December 1971). The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground. ISBN 9780808400271. Archived from the original on April 6, 2023. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  41. ^ "Steve's Broom Of The System Index". Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  42. ^ "'Hey Nineteen'--Steely Dan". Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  43. ^ "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" Will Scarsdale Like Josh's Shayna Punim? (TV Episode 2017) - IMDb, retrieved April 28, 2023

Further reading[edit]

  • Hansen, Harry. Scarsdale: From Colonial Manor to Modern Community (1954) online
  • Lundberg, George A.; Mirra Komarovsky; and Mary Alice McInerny. Leisure: A Suburban Study (Columbia University Press, 1934) in-depth sociological study of clubs in Scarsdale
  • O'Connor, Carol A. A Sort of Utopia, Scarsdale: 1891–1981 (1983), scholarly history
  • Reische, Diana. Of Colonists and Commuters: A History of Scarsdale (Junior League of Scarsdale, 1976)

External links[edit]