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Yonkers travel guide — Yonkers tourism and travel information

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about Yonkers

Yonkers, just north of New York City in Westchester County, is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of New York, with a population of 196,086 (according to the 2000 census). A July 1, 2002 estimate showed the city's population to be 197,234. It is by far the largest city in Westchester County.

Its best-known attraction is Yonkers Raceway, a harness racing track. There is also a large shopping area along Central Park Avenue (New York Route 100), which attracts many shoppers from the surrounding areas, including New York City.

Yonkers geography

The city is spread out over many hills rising from sea-level at the eastern bank of the Hudson River to as high as 415 feet at Sacred Heart Church (the spire of which can be viewed from as far away as Long Island, New York City, and New Jersey). The landscape of the city has been compared to that of San Francisco and Rome.

Yonkers is located at 40°56'29" North, 73°51'52" West (40.941478, -73.864365).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.6 km² (20.3 mi²). 46.8 km² (18.1 mi²) of it is land and 5.8 km² (2.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 11.02% water.


While Yonkers is a suburb of New York City, unlike other suburbs it is made up of a number of distinct neighborhoods, which vary considerably across the city, in a way similar to that of a large metropolis. Some well-known neighborhoods in Yonkers include Beech Hill, Bryn Mawr, Cedar Knolls, Colonial Heights, Crestwood, Dunwoodie, Fleetwood (shared with the neighboring city of Mount Vernon, New York) Greystone, Homefield, Lawrence Park (site of Sarah Lawrence College), Lincoln Park, Lowerre, Ludlow Park, Nepperhan Valley, Park Hill, Runyon Heights, Sprain Lake Knolls, and others.

Yonkers history

The land on which the city is built was once part of a land grant given to the Dutch settler Adrien van der Donck, called De Jonkheer, in the 1600's.

Phillipse Manor Hall, a renovated Colonial-era manor house is a museum and archive which offers many glimpses into life before the American Revolution. It was built by the Phillipses, a prominent family who were Tories, that is, loyal to Britain during the war.

Yonkers's early growth rested largely on developing industry. In 1853, the Otis Elevator Company, opened the first elevator factory in the world on the banks of the Hudson. Around the same time, the Alexander Smith Carpet factory (in the Saw Mill River Valley) expanded to 45 buildings, 800 looms, and over 4,000 workers and was know as one of the premier carpet producing centers in the world. In 1892, Smith carpet was sent to Moscow for the tsar's coronation. Yonkers was also the headquarters of the Waring Hat Company, at the time, the nation's largest hat manufacturer. World War II saw the city's factories manufacture everything from tents and blankets in the Alexander Smith Carpet Factory to tanks in the Otis Elevator factory. After World War II, however, increased competition from less expensive imports and the appeal of foreign labor, Yonkers lost much of its manufacturing luster. The Alexander Smith Carpet mill fell into harder times, ceasing operation on June 24, 1954. In 1983, the prestigious Otis Elevator Factory finally closed its doors. With the loss of jobs in the city itself, Yonkers followed the trend of many suburban cities after World War II, becoming primarily a commuter city. Yonkers's excellent transportation infrastructure, including three commuter railroad lines (now two) and five parkways and freeways, as well as its 30-minute drive from Manhattan, made it a desirable city to live in. Yonkers's manufacturing sector, however, has recently shown a resurgence. With the opening of a factory for Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Yonkers now produces the new R142A cars for the New York City Subway.

Aside from being a manufacturing center, Yonkers also played a key role in the development of entertainment in the United States. In 1888, Scottish immigrant John Reid founded the first golf course in the United States, St. Andrew's Golf Club, in Yonkers. On January 4, 1940, Yonkers resident Edwin Howard Armstrong transmitted the first FM radio broadcast (on station W2XCR) from the Yonkers home of C.R. Runyon, a co-experimenter.

The Irish-American community plays a prominent role in Yonkers, and the city hosts one of the oldest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country.

The city is also home to a large Italian-American community many of whom moved to city after originally settling in the Bronx and in Brooklyn. The city hosts a large Columbus Day festival with A Miss Italian-American pageant.

There was a years-long battle over housing integration in the 1980s and 1990s, which ended only after a court ruling nearly bankrupted the city government, by imposing geometrically increasing contempt of court penalties after the then-mayor refused to build public housing in the wealthier parts of the city.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Yonkers, New York".

This city is also known as: Yonkers.

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