Condos in Yonkers
Things to do
See why buying a condo in Yonkers, NY could be a great deal for you
For years, sleepy Yonkers has been seen as a blue-collar industrial suburb to New York City, but this independent city is making a comeback as the area renovates and rebuilds after many years of neglect. Now parks, factories and townhouses are being restored and repurposed to create a new and dynamic community, with great walkability.
History of Yonkers
History of Yonkers
Before looking at Yonkers condos for sale, it’s interesting to see how one man’s vast estate became a modern city. Jonker (meaning “young gentleman”) Van der Donck received a 24,000-acre grant of land from the Dutch East India Company in the 1640s and built one of the first sawmills in the New World at the junction of the Hudson and Nepperhan Rivers. His land passed to the Philipse family in the latter part of the 17th century and Philipse Manor Hall was built in the early 1680s. The strategic location fostered the development of a major trading center and its early settlers, including Native Americans, English and Dutch, created a diverse community. The third-generation Frederick Philipse III, was a prominent Loyalist during the American Revolution, but because of his political leanings, he was forced to flee to England. The colonists confiscated all his lands and property and sold them. For 200 years, Yonkers was a small farm town producing peaches, apples, potatoes, oats, wheat and other agricultural goods to be shipped to New York City along the Hudson. With the harnessing of waterpower, many businesses soon began to emerge, with innovators and inventors aplenty. Elisha Otis invented the safety elevator in 1854 and built his first factory in the city. Around the same time, Alexander Smith’s carpet factory expanded to 45 buildings, 800 looms and more than 4,000 workers, becoming one of the premier carpet-producing centers in the world. In 1888, John Reid and a few friends laid out America’s first golf course, naming it St. Andrew’s after the famous course in Scotland. In 1898, Yonkers voted on a referendum to determine if they wanted to become part of New York City. The returns were so negative that it was not included in the consolidated city and remained independent. In 1906, Leo Baekeland invented the first completely synthetic plastic, which he called Bakelite. Edwin Armstrong invented FM radio in 1912, building his antenna on The Palisades across the river from his Yonkers home. After World War II, increased competition from less expensive imports resulted in a decline in manufacturing in Yonkers and numerous industrial jobs were lost, though now new industries are returning.
Things to do in Yonkers
Things to do in Yonkers
After you buy your Yonkers condo, you’ll want to discover some of the exciting activities available around your new home.
Untermyer Gardens is the 46-acre historic estate of lawyer Samuel Untermyer, who was passionately interested in horticulture. It has multiple garden areas including a walled garden, a grand vista, a ruin garden, the temple of love, a rhododendron walk and a rock and stream garden.
Tibbetts Brook Park is 161-acre park offering many recreational activities throughout the year and ethnic celebrations, fairs and festivals during the summer months. It features an aquatic complex with a spray playground for kids, in-pool basketball and volleyball, lap lanes and the signature ‘lazy river.’
Van der Donck Park is a compact urban space near the waterfront, which hosts a Friday farmers’ market from June to October.
Impressive Philipse Manor Hall was the home of a Loyalist, whose lands were seized after Independence. It serves as a museum of history, art and architecture, as well as host to community organizations, meetings, educational programs and special events.
Lenoir Preserve is a 40-acre nature sanctuary comprising woodlands and field habitats, with spectacular views of the Hudson. In summer, the butterfly and hummingbird garden is at its best.
The Bronx River divides Yonkers from Mount Vernon, Tuckahoe, Eastchester, Bronxville and Scarsdale to the east. Greenburgh lies to the north, the Hudson River lies to the west and the Riverdale, Woodlawn and Wakefield areas of the Bronx are to the south. The city is spread out over seven hills rising from near sea level at the eastern bank of the Hudson River to 416 feet at the high point. Yonkers has more than three dozen neighborhoods offering single-family, multi-family, cooperative apartments and condos to buy at all different price points. However, it can conveniently be divided into four quarters. Yonkers Neighborhoods Northeast Yonkers This is known primarily as an Irish-American and Italian-American area. House sizes vary widely, from small houses set close together, to larger homes in areas like Lawrence Park West and mid-rise apartment buildings along Central Park Avenue, which provides an abundance of shopping for residents. The area contains the upscale neighborhoods of Crestwood, Colonial Heights and Cedar Knolls, as well as the wealthy enclaves of Beech Hill and Lawrence Park West. It also contains Winchester Villages, a gated community beside the Grassy Sprain Reservoir. Landmarks include St. Vladimir's Seminary, Sarah Lawrence College and the Tanglewood Shopping Center. This is a more expensive area and due to the proximity of several Metro-North commuter stations, many of its residents are employed in white-collar jobs in Manhattan. Northwest Yonkers This is a collection of widely varying neighborhoods and with the Hudson River bordering it to the west, this area has many Victorian-era homes with panoramic views of The Palisades. An interest in historic preservation has taken hold in this area in recent years. Neighborhoods include Nepera Park, Runyon Heights, Homefield, Glenwood and Greystone. Landmarks include the Hudson River Museum, the Lenoir Nature Preserve and the nationally recognized Untermyer Park and Gardens. The two-block section of Palisade Avenue between Chase and Roberts Avenues is the retail area. Southeast Yonkers This is another mostly Irish-American and Italian-American area. Many of the businesses and types of architecture in southeast Yonkers bear a greater resemblance to certain parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens than to points north. Southeastern Yonkers is largely within walking distance of the Woodlawn and Wakefield sections of the Bronx. A portion of Midland Avenue has been called ‘Little Italy.’ Landmarks include the Cross County Shopping Center, Yonkers Raceway and St. Joseph's Seminary. Southwest Yonkers Getty Square is Yonkers's downtown and the civic center and central business district of the city. Much of the area grew densely along the multiple rail and other transportation lines connecting to New York City, with clusters of apartment buildings surrounding the stations. The railroad companies themselves built neighborhoods of many housing types. Here there is a mix of styles ranging from dense clusters of apartment buildings, blocks of retail with apartments above, multi-family row houses, detached single-family homes and many condos to buy. Other neighborhoods of these types, although with a larger number of detached houses, are Ludlow Park, Hudson Park and Van Cortlandt Crest. The area is also home to significant historical and educational institutions including the historic Philipse Manor Hall and the Beczak Environmental Education Center. In the early 2000s several new luxury apartment buildings were built along the Hudson. There is also a new Sculpture Meadow on the Hudson, renovation of a Victorian-era pier, and a new public library housed in the remodeled Otis elevator factory. There are new developments including condos for sale, which are intended to revitalize downtown Yonkers.
The population of the city of Yonkers is currently about 212,472 people.
Today, the former elevator factory is home to industry leaders such as Kawasaki, which builds rail cars for the New York subway system, Long Island Railroad and transit systems around the world, plus leading web developers and bio-engineers. The former carpet mill is home to dozens of artists, artisans, musicians and new media professions who make up the YoHo Artist Studios. The past decade has seen a transformation of the city’s downtown, with a new train station, a library, four-star restaurants and luxury apartments along the waterfront.
Arts in Yonkers
Arts in Yonkers
The Riverfront Yonkers Art Gallery at the Public Library is the cultural center for the arts in Yonkers. The gallery exhibits contemporary, nationally and internationally acclaimed artworks.
The Hudson River Museum is a multidisciplinary complex that draws its identity from its site on the banks of the majestic Hudson River and includes a new open-air performance amphitheater and state-of-the-art Planetarium. The permanent collection and dynamic exhibitions of American art that range from nineteenth-century Hudson River School paintings to contemporary art installations. Visitors can explore Gilded Age decorative arts in the period rooms of historic Glenview, built in 1877.
The Actors Conservatory Theater is a non-profit organization, founded in 1975, which has staged over 120 mainstage productions including comedies, dramas and musicals. ACT conducts numerous acting workshops for children, beginner actors and scene study workshops for experienced performers, leading many to successful careers in TV, film and theater.
Schools in Yonkers
Schools in Yonkers
Yonkers Public Schools runs 39 elementary schools and eight high schools. There are several elementary Catholic schools and one Muslim school. The top schools are Pearls Hawthorne School, Patricia A. Dichiaro School, School 30, Casimir Pulaski School and Kahlil Gibran School. There are 17 private schools, including religion-based schools. Sarah Lawrence College is located in Yonkers. Westchester Community College, part of the SUNY system, operates a number of extension centers in Yonkers. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York operates Catholic schools, including the 100-year-old St. Peter's Catholic Elementary.
As more and more people find themselves getting priced out of Manhattan and other boroughs, this has become a welcome alternative for commuting professionals where buyers get much more value for their housing money, making a condo in Yonkers an excellent choice.
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