Spuyten Duyvil, Bronx

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For other uses of "Spuyten Duyvil", see Spuyten Duyvil.
Spuyten Duyvil
Neighborhood of The Bronx
Looking northwest at Edgehill Church of Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil is located in New York City
Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil is located in New York
Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil is located in the US
Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°52′52″N 73°55′02″W / 40.8812107°N 73.9173588°W / 40.8812107; -73.9173588Coordinates: 40°52′52″N 73°55′02″W / 40.8812107°N 73.9173588°W / 40.8812107; -73.9173588
Country  United States
State  New York
City New York City
Borough Bronx
 • Total 1.23 km2 (0.473 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 10,279
 • Density 8,400/km2 (22,000/sq mi)
 • Median income $80,330
ZIP codes 10463, 10471
Area code 718, 347, 646
Spuyten Duyvil Creek as seen from the Metro North station, with the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge in the background

Spuyten Duyvil /ˈsptən ˈdvəl/ is an upper middle class neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City. It is bounded on the north by Riverdale, on the east by Kingsbridge, on the south by the Harlem River, and on the west by the Hudson River,[2] although some consider it to be the southernmost part of Riverdale.[3]

The area is named after Spuyten Duyvil Creek, where "Spuyten Duyvil" literally means "Spouting Devil" or Spuitende Duivel in Dutch; a reference to the strong and wild tidal currents found at that location. It may also be translated as "Spewing Devil" or "Spinning Devil", or more loosely as "Devil's Whirlpool" or "Devil's Spate". Spuit is still a commonly used Dutch word related to the flowing of water or other liquids.[4] Historian Reginald Pelham Bolton, however, argues that the phrase means "spouting meadow", referring to a fresh-water spring.[5]


In 1642, Anthony Van Corlaer died while attempting to swim across the Hudson from Spuyten Duyvil.[6] 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."[7] This may be the earliest recorded shark attack in the New World.[7]

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.[8]

Development of the neighborhood began in the latter half of the 19th century once the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad came through.[2] 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, so 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 Fourth Avenue into his new Grand Central Depot.[9] This is the route still used by Metro-North today.

Through the 1920s development of the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood continued. Large high-rise apartment buildings, which later became condominiums and cooperatives, began to be built in 1950s and continued through the 1980s, bringing in affluent families attracted by its scenic qualities, as well as by the area's closeness to desirable neighborhood such as Fieldston and Riverdale.[2]

On December 1, 2013, a train derailment near Spuyten Duyvil station resulted in 4 deaths and over 70 injuries of which 11 were critical.[10]


Spuyten Duyvil is the location of the Spuyten Duyvil train station, which is served by the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad, providing service into Grand Central Terminal and north into Westchester County. Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, a railroad swing bridge that carries Amtrak's Empire Corridor line between New York City and Albany, spans Spuyten Duyvil Creek. The north end of the Henry Hudson Bridge connects the neighborhood to the island of Manhattan via the Henry Hudson Parkway.

Points of interest[edit]

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  1. ^ a b "Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood in New York". Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wolfe, Gerald R. "Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood" in Jackson, ed. (1995), p. 1224
  3. ^ a b c d White and Willensky (2010), p. 868
  4. ^ http://lookwayup.com/lwu.exe/lwu/toEng?s=d&w=spuit&slang=Nld
  5. ^ Sypher, Frank J. "Dispute Springs Eternal Over 'Spuyten Duyvil'" (letter to the editor) New York Times (November 14, 1993)
  6. ^ Boland, Ed, Jr. "F.Y.I.: Beating the Devil" New York Times (October 13, 2002)
  7. ^ a b Fernicola 2001, pp. 104–105.
  8. ^ Burrows, ed. (1999), p. 100
  9. ^ Burrows, ed. (1999), p. 944
  10. ^ “Metro-North Train Derails in the Bronx”, (New York Times, December 1, 2013)
  11. ^ New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Postal, ed., and Dolkart (2009), p. 346


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