From the Mayor: Bronxville and Westchester County Have Much to Offer Print


By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Sep. 26, 2018:  So much has been said of late about our county and not much has been positive vis-à-vis federal and local tax implications, transportation issues and the high cost of goods and services.

But Westchester County, and Bronxville in particular, has so much to offer, rich in history and accomplishments.

The following is just a sampling of information about our home village and county:

Bronxville Village

  • At the time of incorporation in 1898, Bronxville had 300 citizens.

  • We are now home to 3,358 female residents and 3,060 male residents.

  • With the exception of the Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, Bronxville is the only community that is coterminous with its school district.

  • Sixty percent of our residents live in single-family homes vs forty percent in a combination of co-ops, condos, and rentals.

  • The village-proper has over 70 acres of parkland.

  • However, the largest park, Scout Field, is Westchester County property, 95% of which is in the cities of Mount Vernon and Yonkers. Hence, we are not allowed to patrol the property.

  • Alfredo Field near Siwanoy is village property but almost wholly in the Town of Eastchester. (The original soil from the field was sold and trucked to Queens for the 1939 World’s Fair.)

  • Approximately 23% of village parcels are tax-exempt properties.

  • The NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law sets the minimum speed for villages at 30 mph. It can be lowered only for a school zone or if there is a documented history of multiple serious accidents.

  • The village has no county-owned roads and only one state road, Route 22. The village cannot pave the state road, which was also constructed with no drainage catch basins on the entire stretch through Bronxville.

Westchester County

Some “firsts” in the county:

  • The first chapter of the Garden Club of America was founded in Bedford in 1938.

  • Yonkers resident Leo Baekland invented one of the world’s first plastics in 1907 and his company manufactured the glossy brightly colored plastics that defined the '50s and '60s.

  • The first elevator was built in Yonkers by the Otis Company.

  • Founded in 1888, St. Andrews Golf Club in Hastings, the first U.S. golf course, was developed by Yonkers John Reid. (It was even here in Westchester that the dubious tactic of a second chance at hitting a ball, "taking a Mulligan," got its name.)

  • The first self-made female millionaire was Irvington resident Madame J. C. Walker, who built a beauty empire manufacturing products geared to African American consumers.

  • The first parkway in America was our own Bronx River Parkway. The river itself was rerouted and our village border was changed to accommodate its construction in 1925.

  • The Union Church in Pocantico Hills has nine Chagall windows commissioned by David Rockefeller. This is the only series of Chagalls in America.

  • Paddle tennis was invented in Scarsdale in 1928 and first played there at the Fox Meadow Tennis Club.

  • Tuckahoe marble was once considered the finest in the country and was used to build St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Public Library, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Washington Square Arch, the U.S. Capitol, and the Washington Monument. (Our President Kennedy commemorative plaque is adhered to a piece of Tuckahoe marble generously donated to us by our neighbors.)

  • Glen Island Casino, now Glen Island Harbour Club, was the premier home of the Big Band Era and launched the careers of Ozzie Nelson, Les Brown, the Dorsey Brothers, and Glenn Miller.

  • John Peter Zenger wrote an article about an Eastchester town election that heavily criticized the New York governor. Litigation over the article led to the immortalization of freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights, hence the name Bill of Rights Plaza at the intersection of Mill Road and Route 22 in Eastchester.

  • First visited by Italian explorer Verrazzano in 1524 and later by Henry Hudson in 1609, the county was named by English settlers arriving in the 1640s after the English city of Chester.

  • Covering 450 square miles and 45 municipalities, Westchester County is larger than 40 countries.

  • Crain’s rated Westchester County the slimmest, fittest, healthiest county in New York State because of its low rates of obesity, inactivity, and diabetes.

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.