University Heights, Bronx
Looking east on 183rd Street from Croton Aqueduct
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Bronx 5 and Bronx 7|
|• Total||1.03 km2 (0.397 sq mi)|
|• Density||25,000/km2 (65,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$29,651|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
University Heights is a neighborhood of the West Bronx in New York City. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise, are: West Fordham Road to the north, Jerome Avenue to the east, West Burnside Avenue to the south and the Harlem River to the west. University Avenue is the primary thoroughfare in University Heights.
The neighborhood is mostly part of Bronx Community Board 5, with a small portion in Community Board 7. Its ZIP Codes include 10453 and 10468. The nearest subway is the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 train), operating along Jerome Avenue. The area is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 46th Precinct. NYCHA property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 7 at 737 Melrose Avenue in the Melrose section of the Bronx.
The neighborhood takes its name from the hill on which New York University's Bronx campus was built in 1894. The campus includes the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. Although NYU sold the campus to the City University of New York to house Bronx Community College in 1973, the neighborhood name has endured.
With the opening of the IRT Jerome Avenue Line in 1917, the neighborhood began a rapid transition from a one-time farm community that had become a place where wealthy people had their mansions and suburban villas, to an urban neighborhood built almost entirely of low-rise apartment buildings housing the prosperous middle classes.
University Heights has a population of around 25,702. There is a mix of renter-occupied as well as owner-occupied households. The demographics are 23.0% African American, 2.0% White, 3.4% Asian or Pacific Islander and 72.6% Hispanic or Latino, the majority of which are of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of University Heights and Morris Heights was 54,188, a change of -147 (-0.3%) from the 54,335 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 484.32 acres (196.00 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 111.9 inhabitants per acre (71,600/sq mi; 27,700/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 1.4% (760) White, 31.8% (17,219) African American, 0.2% (106) Native American, 1.3% (688) Asian, 0% (11) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (158) from other races, and 0.8% (424) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 64.3% (34,822) of the population.
The entirety of Community District 5, which comprises University Heights and Fordham, had 136,151 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 79.9 years.:2, 20 This is lower than 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: 28% are between the ages of between 0–17, 29% between 25 and 44, and 23% between 45 and 64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 12% and 8% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 5 was $30,166. In 2018, an estimated 34% of University Heights and Fordham 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 65% in University Heights and Fordham, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], University Heights and Fordham are considered low-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Land use and terrain
University Heights consists of 5- and 6-story buildings, older multi-unit homes, newly constructed multi-unit townhouses and apartment buildings, and co-ops. The total land area is roughly one square mile. The terrain is elevated and hilly. There are many shops along Fordham Road.
Public housing projects
- There are ten NYCHA developments located in University Heights.
- Harrison Avenue Rehab (Group A); a 5-story building.
- Harrison Avenue Rehab (Group B); four buildings, 5 and 6 stories tall.
- Macombs Road; two buildings, 5 and 6 stories tall.
- Morris Heights Rehab; three buildings, 5 and 6 stories tall.
- Sedgwick Houses; seven buildings, 14 and 15 stories tall.
- University Avenue Rehab; four 6-story buildings.
- West Tremont Avenue-Sedgwick Avenue Area; a 12-story building.
- West Tremont Rehab (Group 1); two buildings, 5 and 6 stories tall.
- West Tremont Rehab (Group 2); two 6-story buildings.
- West Tremont Rehab (Group 3); a 5-story building.
Police and crime
University Heights and Fordham are patrolled by the 46th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 2120 Ryer Avenue. The 46th Precinct ranked 27th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. As of 2018[update], with a non-fatal assault rate of 126 per 100,000 people, University Heights and Fordham's rate of violent crimes per capita is greater than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 1,033 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 46th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 80.6% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 9 murders, 28 rapes, 315 robberies, 586 felony assaults, 190 burglaries, 478 grand larcenies, and 86 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
University Heights is located near two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations. Engine Co. 43/Ladder Co. 59 is located at 1901 Sedgwick Avenue, while Engine Co. 75/Ladder Co. 33/Battalion 19 is located at 2175 Walton Avenue.
As of 2018[update], preterm births and births to teenage mothers are more common in University Heights and Fordham than in other places citywide. In University Heights and Fordham, there were 93 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 35.3 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 University Heights and Fordham has a relatively average population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 14%, higher than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in University Heights and Fordham is 0.0083 milligrams per cubic metre (8.3×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Sixteen percent of University Heights and Fordham residents are smokers, which is higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In University Heights and Fordham, 34% of residents are obese, 16% are diabetic, and 27% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 24% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Seventy-eight percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 67% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," lower than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in University Heights and Fordham, there are 20 bodegas.:10
Post office and ZIP Codes
University Heights is covered by ZIP Codes 10453 south of Hall of Fame Terrace and 10468 north of Hall of Fame Terrace. The United States Postal Service operates the Morris Heights Station post office at 2024 Jerome Avenue.
University Heights and Fordham generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. While 10% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 34% have less than a high school education and 46% 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 University Heights and Fordham students excelling in math rose from 19% in 2000 to 43% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 24% to 28% during the same time period.
University Heights and Fordham's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is more than the rest of New York City. In University Heights and Fordham, 30% 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, 66% of high school students in University Heights and Fordham graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.:6
Public schools include:
- PS/MS 15/PS 291 (Hall of Fame Terrace and Andrews Avenue North)
- PS 33: Timothy Dwight (East 184th Street and Jerome Avenue)
- MS 447: Creston Academy (East 181st Street and Creston Avenue)
- PS 91: Anthony Baez (Clinton Place and Aqueduct Avenue East)
- PS 226: Nadia J. Pagan (West Burnside Avenue and Sedgwick Avenue)
- PS/MS 279: Capt. Manuel Rivera (Walton Avenue and East 181st Street)
- PS 315: Lab School (2246 Jerome Avenue)
- MS 206: Ann Cross Mersereau (West 183rd Street and Aqueduct Avenue East)
- MS 331: The Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation (West Tremont and Davidson Avenue)
- MS 390: (West Burnside Avenue and Andrews Avenue South)
- MS 399: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (East 184th Street and Morris Avenue)
Parochial schools of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York included:
- Holy Spirit School (Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Boulevard and University Avenue), closed in 2013. Michael Powell of The New York Times wrote that the school's tuition fees were "a pittance compared with a Dalton or a Brearley."
- St. Nicholas of Tolentine Elementary School (2336 Andrews Avenue), closed in 2019
The New York Public Library (NYPL) operates two branches near University Heights. The Francis Martin branch is located at 2150 University Avenue. Named after Bronx's first district attorney Francis W. Martin, the branch opened in 1957 and was renovated in 2008. The Jerome Park branch is located at 118 Eames Place. The branch first opened in 1957, but moved to its current one-story structure in 1969 and was renovated in 2007.
- Bx3: to 238th Street station (1 train) or George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal (via University Avenue)
- Bx12: to Bay Plaza Shopping Center or Inwood–207th Street station (A train) (via Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway)
- Bx32: to VA Hospital or Third Avenue–138th Street station (6 and <6> trains) (via Morris Avenue)
- Bx40: to SUNY Maritime College or River Park Towers (via Tremont and Burnside Avenues)
- Bx42: to Throggs Neck or River Park Towers (via Tremont and Burnside Avenues)
- Dolph Schayes, Hall of Fame basketball player
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "University Heights neighborhood in New York". Retrieved August 21, 2015.
- Chronopoulos, Themis. ""Urban Decline and the Withdrawal of New York University from University Heights, The Bronx." The Bronx County Historical Society Journal XLVI (Spring/Fall 2009): 4-24". Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- Hughes, C.J. "University Heights, the Bronx: Anchored by a College Campus". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- Waddell, Robert. "University Heights: 'Bronx in Microcosm'". Norwood News. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- Bronx Community District 7
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- "Fordham and University Heights (Including Morris Heights, Mount Hope, South Fordham and University Heights)" (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 5--Morris Heights, Fordham South & Mount Hope PUMA, NY". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- "NYCHA". Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
- "NYPD – 46th Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "Morris Heights, Mount Hope, Fordham, Rose Hill – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "46th Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "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 43/Ladder Company 59". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Engine Company 75/Ladder Company 33/Battalion 19". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Bronx, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "University Heights, New York City-Bronx, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "Location Details: Morris Heights". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Fordham / University Heights – BX 05" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- Powell, Michael. "Teachers Ask About Mission They Lived By". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- Annese, Paul (February 6, 2019). "5 NYC Catholic schools set to close at end of school year in June". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- "About the Francis Martin Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "About the Jerome Park Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "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.
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