Bronx Boro, Bronx County, NY

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Echoes of "Country" in New York City [1]

By the early 1860s, Riverdale-on-the-Hudson had become a favorite summer retreat for well-to-do New York merchants and their families. As noted in 1856 by a writer in Putnam's Monthly Magazine, all of this was made possible by the new age of steam. The development of the eastern shore of the Hudson River was largely the result of the initiation of passenger service on the railroad in 1847.

When New York City took over the West Bronx, incorporating it in the City limits in 1874, its rural quality was threatened and "Riverdale," with its group of villas above the Hudson, might have lost its curvilinear streets and irregular-shaped properties. Frederick Law Olmsted and the municipal civil engineer submitted a report in 1876 which argued for the preservation of those streets that followed the natural contours of the terrain; the report stated that this area would provide excellent sites for villas for those New Yorkers who might wish to enjoy a country atmosphere within the City limits. The recommendations of this report prevailed and Riverdale retained its character. The design and preservation of estates such as Greyston (the William E. Dodge House) still manifest the important picturesque eclectic mode popular in 19th century American architecture and landscaping. As such, it is representative of the predominant aesthetic of the period.

  1. Lawrence Gobrecht, Program Assistant, New York State Office of Parks and Recreation, William E. Dodge House, Bronx County, New York, nomination document, 1977, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
232nd Street West • 235th Street West • 236th Street West • 237th Street West • 238th Street West • 239th Street West • 246th Street West • 247th Street West • 249th Street West • 250th Street West • 252nd Street West • 254th Street West • Alderbrook Road • Arlington Avenue • Bingham Road • Blackstone • Delafield Way • Dodgewood Road • Douglas Avenue • Henry Hudson Parkway West • Independence Avenue • Kipp Road • Netherland Avenue • Palisade Avenue • Ploughmans Bush • Riverdale Avenue • Route 9A • Spaulding Lane • Sycamore Avenue

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