Westchester County, New York

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Westchester County
Westchester Compilation 1.png
Clockwise from top: the original Tappan Zee Bridge and replacement; Mamaroneck Harbor; Philipsburg Manor; downtown White Plains; downtown Scarsdale; shops in Katonah; the New Croton Dam; Getty Square in Yonkers
Flag of Westchester County, New York.png
Flag
Westchester County Seal.png
Coat of arms
Etymology: Chester, England
Westchester County New York highlighted.svg
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 41°09′N73°46′W / 41.150°N 73.767°W / 41.150; -73.767 Coordinates: 41°09′N73°46′W / 41.150°N 73.767°W / 41.150; -73.767
Country United States
State New York
RegionHudson Valley
Founded1683
Government
   County Executive George Latimer (D)
Area
  Total500 sq mi (1,280 km2)
  Land430 sq mi (1,100 km2)
  Water69 sq mi (180 km2)
Population
 (2018) [1]
  Total967,612
  Density1,900/sq mi (760/km2)
Demonym(s) Westchesterite [2] [3]
Time zone UTC−5 (North American EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
105xx–108xx [nb 1]
Area code(s) 914
Congressional districts 16th, 17th, 18th
County seat White Plains
Largest city Yonkers
FIPS code36-119
GNIS feature ID 974157
Website www3.westchestergov.com
Westchester County, New York
Interactive map of Westchester County, New York

Westchester County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. It is the second-most populous county on the mainland of New York, after the Bronx, [5] (p6) and the most populous county in the state north of New York City. According to the 2010 Census, the county had a population of 949,113, estimated to have increased to 967,612 by 2018. [1] Situated in the Hudson Valley, Westchester covers an area of 450 square miles (1,200 km2), consisting of six cities, 19 towns, and 23 villages. Established in 1683, Westchester was named after the city of Chester, England. [6] [7] The county seat is the city of White Plains, while the most populous municipality in the county is the city of Yonkers, with an estimated 199,663 residents in 2018.

Contents

The annual per capita income for Westchester was $67,813 in 2011. The 2011 median household income of $77,006 was the fifth highest in New York (after Nassau, Putnam, Suffolk, and Rockland counties) and the 47th highest in the United States. [8] By 2014, the county's median household income had risen to $83,422. [9] Westchester County ranks second in the state after New York County for median income per person, with a higher concentration of incomes in smaller households. Simultaneously, Westchester County had the highest property taxes of any county in the United States in 2013. [10]

Westchester County is one of the centrally located counties within the New York metropolitan area. The county is positioned with New York City, plus Nassau and Suffolk counties (on Long Island, across Long Island Sound), to its south; Putnam County to its north; Fairfield County, Connecticut to its east; and Rockland County and Bergen County, New Jersey across the Hudson River to the west. Westchester was the first suburban area of its scale in the world to develop, due mostly to the upper-middle-class development of entire communities in the late 19th century and the subsequent rapid population growth. [11] Because of Westchester's numerous road and mass transit connections to New York City, as well as its shared border with the Bronx, the 20th and 21st centuries have seen much of the county, particularly the southern portion, become nearly as densely developed as New York City itself.

History

At the time of European contact in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Native American inhabitants of present-day Westchester County were part of the Algonquian peoples, whose name for themselves was Lenape, meaning the people. They called the region Lenapehoking, which consisted of the area around and between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers. Several different tribes occupied the area, including The Manhattans, and the Weckquaesgeek and Siwanoy bands of the Wappinger in the south, and Tankiteke, Sintsink and Kitchawank Wappinger in the north.

The first European explorers to visit the Westchester area were Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and Henry Hudson in 1609. Dutch settlers began arriving in the 1620s, followed by settlers from England in the 1640s. Westchester County was one of the original twelve counties of the Province of New York, created by an act of the New York General Assembly in 1683. At the time it included present-day Bronx County, and abutted then-Dutchess County to the north. By 1775, Westchester was the richest and most populous county in the colony of New York. Although the Revolutionary War devastated the county, recovery after the war was rapid. In 1788, five years after the end of the war, the county was divided into 20 towns. In 1798, the first federal census recorded a population of 24,000 for the county.

Two developments in the first half of the 19th century—the construction of the first Croton Dam and Aqueduct, and the coming of the railroad—had enormous impacts on the growth of Westchester. The Croton Dam and Aqueduct was begun in 1837 and completed in 1842; now a National Historic Landmark, the Croton Aqueduct is considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century. In the 1840s, the first railroads were built in Westchester, and included the New York and Harlem Railroad, the Hudson River Railroad, [nb 2] and the New York and New Haven Railroad. The railroads often determined the growth of a town, and the population shifted from Northern to Southern Westchester. By 1860, the total county population was 99,000, with the largest city being Yonkers.

The period following the American Civil War enabled entrepreneurs in the New York area to create fortunes, and many built large estates, such as Lyndhurst, in Westchester. During the latter half of the 19th century, Westchester's transportation system and labor force attracted a manufacturing base, particularly along the Hudson River and Nepperhan Creek. In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County was transferred to New York County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County was also transferred to New York County. These would later split from Manhattan to form a county.

During the 20th century, the rural character of Westchester would transform into the suburban county known today. The Bronx River Parkway, completed in 1925, was the first modern, multi-lane limited-access roadway in North America. The development of Westchester's parks and parkway systems supported existing communities and encouraged the establishment of new ones, transforming the development pattern for Westchester. With the need for homes expanding after World War II, multistory apartment houses appeared in the urbanized areas of the county, while the market for single-family houses continued to expand. By 1950, the total county population was 625,816. Major interstate highways were constructed in Westchester during the 1950s and 1960s. The establishment of these roadways, along with the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge, led to further growth in the county.

Geography

Harbors, islands and shoreline of New Rochelle NRHA 1.png
Harbors, islands and shoreline of New Rochelle

Westchester County is located in the New York metropolitan area and Downstate New York, north of New York City and south of Upstate New York. It shares its southern boundary with New York City and its northern border with Putnam County. It is bordered on the west side by the Hudson River and on the east side by the Long Island Sound and Fairfield County, Connecticut. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 430 square miles (1,100 km2) is land and 69 square miles (180 km2) (14%) is water. [12]

Where Pelham Manor meets Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, the southern border of Westchester is just under 11 miles (18 km) from Columbus Circle in Manhattan. At over 2,700 acres (11 km2), Pelham Bay Park is the largest of New York City's parks, forming a substantial buffer between suburban Westchester and the urban Bronx, while Van Cortlandt Park to the west acts as a similar buffer.

Long Island Sound shore

Philipsburg Manor House in Sleepy Hollow PocanticoRiver3.jpg
Philipsburg Manor House in Sleepy Hollow

Westchester's Long Island Sound shore is generally rocky, interspersed with tidal mud flats, marshes and wetlands, as well as several natural and artificially-maintained sand beaches. Municipal and county owned parks provide access to beaches, nature preserves and passive and active waterfront recreational facilities. Several large harbors lie along the shore including Milton Harbor in Rye, Mamaroneck Harbor, Larchmont Harbor, and Echo Bay, and the upper and lower harbors in southern New Rochelle.

A number of islands can be found off the Long Island Sound shore, most of which are located in New Rochelle. Davids' Island, the former location of the U.S. Army's Fort Slocum, is currently unoccupied but is slated for use as passive parkland; Glen Island, currently a Westchester Parks Department run beach and park, was one of the first amusement parks in the country serving as a summer resort at the turn of the twentieth century; Huckleberry Island is largely undeveloped, and has one of the largest rookeries in western Long Island Sound; Echo Island is owned and used by a private yacht club; Execution Rocks is the site of a 19th-century lighthouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places; Columbia, Pea, and Goose Islands are undeveloped; Clifford, Harrison and Tank Islands are part of the "Five Islands Park" and nature preserve; while Oak and Pine Islands are used as private residences.

Hudson River

The widest section of the Hudson River, at 3.6 miles (6 km), is found between the Westchester and Rockland County shorelines immediately north of Croton Point. In Colonial times, this area was called the Tappan Zee or Sea. The Hudson River is tidal and brackish through Westchester and contains a small number of estuarine marshes. Two bridges span the Hudson in Westchester: the Bear Mountain Bridge crosses at Cortlandt and the Tappan Zee Bridge at Tarrytown. Municipal, county and state-owned parks provide access to waterfront landmarks and sites, including Croton Point in Croton, Kingsland Point in Sleepy Hollow and JFK Memorial Marina in Yonkers.

The Hudson River waterfront in Westchester is in a transitional period, converting from primarily industrial uses to mixed residential, commercial, retail, and recreational uses. This transformation is most notable in Yonkers, Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Ossining, and Peekskill, where redevelopment projects are in various stages of design and completion. In 2004, the county began a project to create Westchester RiverWalk, a walkway along the Hudson River of 51.5 miles (80 km) which will provide pedestrian access between New York City and Putnam County. 32.9 miles of the route are complete and accessible. [13]

At 987 feet (301 m), the highest elevation in the county is a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey benchmark known as "Bailey" in Mountain Lakes Park near the Connecticut state line. [14] The lowest elevation is sea level, along both the Hudson and Long Island Sound.

Watersheds

The New Croton Reservoir is the largest of many in the county. CrotonReservoir2.JPG
The New Croton Reservoir is the largest of many in the county.

Westchester County is divided into six primary drainage basins or watersheds: the Upper and Lower Long Island Sound; and the Bronx, Upper Hudson, Lower Hudson, and Croton River basins. Within these primary drainage basins are approximately 60 smaller basins, or subwatersheds. The principal streams draining the southern part of the county include Beaver Swamp Brook, Blind Brook, Bronx River, Hutchinson River, Mamaroneck River, Saw Mill River, Sheldrake River, Stephenson Brook and Tibbetts Brook. The primary streams draining the central part of the county include Byram River, Kisco River, Mianus River, Mill River, Pocantico River and Silvermine River. The principal streams draining the northern part of the county include Dickey Brook, Furnace Brook, Hallocks Mill Brook, Hunter Brook, Muscoot River, Peekskill Hollow Brook, and Titicus River. The county contains several major reservoirs; The Croton system and the Kensico Reservoir are important components of the New York City water supply system. The system is a series of interconnected reservoirs and lakes in northern Westchester and Putnam Counties that provide 10% of New York City's water under normal conditions and up to 30% in times of drought. The components of the system include the New Croton Reservoir, the Cross River Reservoir, the Titicus Reservoir, the Amawalk Reservoir, and the Muscoot Reservoir. Other major reservoirs are the Kensico and Byram Lake Reservoir, while there are a number of smaller reservoirs throughout the county.

The Westchester County Department of Planning divides the county into North, Central and South sub-regions. [15]

Geology

The rock that underlies Manhattan and Westchester is chiefly gneiss and mica-schist, with layers of dolomitic marble and serpentine.

Climate

The climate of Westchester County is primarily regarded as humid continental (Koppen Dfa), and is somewhat cooler than the humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa) of New York City, [16] sometimes by as much as 15 °F. Winters are cold throughout the county and summers are hot inland but cooler towards the coast. Precipitation is plentiful and in some areas reaches over 45 inches. Snowfall is more common in Westchester than in New York City, with the exception of the southwest of the county where snowfall is often between 40 and 60 inches . In January, less dense areas have a low of 16-18 °F and a high of 30–34 °F while dense areas like Yonkers and White Plains have a low of 20–25 °F and a high of 35-40 °F. In the summer, this effect is much milder. Coastal areas (Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Port Chester) have highs of 80–83 °F and lows of 62–66 °F, while inland highs will be 84–86 °F and lows will be 60-66 °F. Winds can be heavy, especially by the coast.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1790 23,978
1800 27,42814.4%
1810 30,27210.4%
1820 32,6387.8%
1830 36,45611.7%
1840 48,68633.5%
1850 58,26319.7%
1860 99,49770.8%
1870 131,34832.0%
1880 108,988−17.0%
1890 146,77234.7%
1900 184,25725.5%
1910 283,05553.6%
1920 344,43621.7%
1930 520,94751.2%
1940 573,55810.1%
1950 625,8169.1%
1960 808,89129.3%
1970 894,40410.6%
1980 866,599−3.1%
1990 874,8661.0%
2000 923,4595.6%
2010 949,1132.8%
Est. 2018967,6121.9%
U.S. Decennial Census [17]
1790–1960 [18] 1900–1990 [19]
1990–2000, [20] 2010 and 2017 [1]

2010

As of 2010, there were 949,113 residents at an average density of 807 per square mile (312/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 57.4% non-Hispanic White, 15.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 5.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.6% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.8% of the population. 71.7% spoke only English at home, while 14.4% spoke Spanish, 3.5% Italian, 1.1% Portuguese and 1.1% French at home.

There were 337,142 households of which 34% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. Of all households 25.7% were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.21.

Age distribution was 25% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 14% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.30 males.

According to census data, the per capita income for the county in 1999 was $36,726. The American Community Survey lists Westchester in 2011 with the median household income of $77,006, the 47th highest in the country. [8] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 6.4% of families and 8.7% (2003) of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.53% of those under age 18 and 7.60% of those age 65 or over.

2018

At the American Community Survey's 2018 estimates 967,612 people inhabited the county, up 18,499 from 2010's census. [21] 53.1% of the county was non-Hispanic white, 16.6% Black or African American, 1.0% American Indian or Alaska Native, 6.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from two or more races, and 25.1% Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.6% of the population were foreign-born.

From 2014-2018 there were 375,852 housing units and 347,332 households. The owner-occupied housing rate was 61.3% and the median monthly owner costs of a house were $3,398 with a mortgage and $1,426 without. The median gross rent in 2018 was $1,493, up $517 from the monthly owner cost without a mortgage. The average persons per household in 2018 was 2.71 and 33.3% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. 21.9% of Westchester was under 18 and 17.1% were aged 65 and older.

Westchester County's median income was $92,758 and the per capita income was $54,572. The Census Bureau reported 65.4% of the county's residents aged 16 and older were employed in the civilian labor force, and 59.5% of women worked in the labor force. 8.3% of the county lived below the poverty line from 2014-2018.

Immigrants

As of 2000, several different expatriate populations lived in Westchester County. Notable French communities are located in Larchmont, Mamaroneck, and New Rochelle, while Scarsdale and Bronxville are the preferred locations for Japanese immigrants. [22]

Communities

Incorporated municipalities and hamlets (gray) and unincorporated areas (white) Westchester County New York incorporated and unincorporated areas.svg
Incorporated municipalities and hamlets (gray) and unincorporated areas (white)
Municipalities in Westchester County. New York Westchester Municipalities.PNG
Municipalities in Westchester County. New York

Westchester County has 6 cities, 19 towns, and 23 villages.

Cities in Westchester have many well established sub-areas within the municipal boundaries. Many of these are similar to hamlets and date back to as early as the late 1600s such as Cooper's Corners in New Rochelle. These areas also include some of the first planned communities in the country such as New Rochelle's Residence Park, Rochelle Park and Heights and Sutton Manor.

The six cities in the county are: [23]

NamePopulationArea (mi2)Density
(Pop. per mi2)
Founded/first
incorporated
Notes
Yonkers 195,97620.310,818.21646 / 18544th largest city in New York State
New Rochelle 77,06213.26,973.51688 / 18997th largest city in New York State
Mount Vernon 67,2924.415,2881664 / 18538th largest city in New York State
White Plains 56,8539.95,820172111th largest city in New York State, also Westchester County seat
Peekskill 23,5835.55,189.71684 / 181629th largest city in New York State
Rye 15,72020.02,7101660 / 190437th largest city in New York State, also the name of a town

Any land area in the county that is not contained in one of the cities is in a town. A town may have from zero to multiple villages. A village can be located in more than one town, as two of Westchester's villages are. [nb 3] The largest city in the county by population is Yonkers with nearly 200,000 residents. The city with the highest population density is Mount Vernon with a density of 15,564 individuals per square mile. [24] [25]

The towns of Harrison, Mount Kisco, and Scarsdale are coterminous with the village of the same name. Two villages are split between two towns - Briarcliff Manor crosses the border between Ossining town and Mount Pleasant, and Mamaroneck village straddles the boundary between Mamaroneck town and Rye town.

With the exception of the towns of Rye, Pelham, Harrison, Mount Kisco, and Scarsdale, all the towns contain area and residents which do not belong to any village. These areas may contain communities referred to as hamlets, or "unincorporated areas". Hamlets have no legal status and depend upon the town for all municipal government and services. There are also areas called census-designated places (CDPs), which are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. A CDP may or may not correspond to a hamlet.

Because some municipalities have the same name, it is often necessary to indicate whether one is referring to the city, town, village, or hamlet. For example, the town of Rye is completely separate from the city of Rye. Pelham is the name of a town and also of a village in the town. The village of Mamaroneck is located partially in the town of Mamaroneck and partially in the town of Rye, but has nothing to do with the city of Rye.

All of the towns have justice courts, and some of the villages do as well.

The towns are listed as follows: [26]

(The list of towns, villages, and CDPs is complete. The listing of additional communities should not be considered complete.)

Economy

Due to its proximity to New York City, many Fortune 500 companies are headquartered [27] in Westchester county, including:

High technology

Tech Valley is a marketing name for the eastern part of New York State, including the Hudson Valley and the Capital District. [28] The term originated in 1998 to promote the Greater Albany metropolitan area as a competitor to regions such as Silicon Valley and Boston. It has since grown to represent the counties in New York between IBM's Westchester County plants in the south and the Canada–U.S. border to the north.

Biotechnology

Westchester County has also developed a burgeoning biotechnology sector in the 21st century, with over US$1 billion in planned private investment as of 2016, [29] spurring Westchester Magazine to nickname the county Biochester. [30] In April 2017, county officials unveiled plans for an 80-acre, 3 million square-foot biotechnology hub to be built with US$1.2 billion in private investment on vacant land adjacent to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla; the bioscience center, a public-private partnership, is anticipated to create 12,000 new jobs and include over 2.25 million square feet of biotechnology research space. [31] [32]

Education

Westchester County contains 48 public school districts, [33] nearly 120 private college-preparatory and parochial schools, and 14 colleges and universities. Many public and private high schools are continuously ranked among the best in New York State and the United States. [34] [35] Public schools in the county are largely funded by local property taxes, and the median annual property-tax bill for Westchester County residents was $13,842 in 2013, the highest in the United States. [10] According to the 2018 rankings provided by the education website Niche, taking into account public comments, 28 of the top 100 school districts in the state of New York were located in Westchester County. [36]

Culture and recreation

Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers Philipse Manor SE jeh.jpg
Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers
Tarrytown Music Hall on Main Street Tarrytown NY Main St sidewalk crop.jpg
Tarrytown Music Hall on Main Street

Historic sites

The Timothy Knapp House, built around 1670, is the oldest standing building in Westchester. [5] (p9) Philipse Manor Hall and the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow are also among the oldest, built around 1682 and 1685 respectively. Philipse Manor Hall is located in Getty Square, Yonkers, and is operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The former Edwin H. Armstrong House is the only delisted National Historic Landmark in Westchester. Current National Historic Landmarks in the county are: [37]

Libraries

Westchester County is served by the Westchester Library System, established in 1958. The system comprises 38 public libraries and 25 college and special libraries in the county. The Westchester Library Association is an organization which advocates on behalf of libraries and their personnel and support systems within Westchester County.

Other attractions

Government

White Plains, the county seat City of White Plains, Jul 2012.jpg
White Plains, the county seat

The Westchester County Government is headed by County Executive George Latimer, a Democrat. The district attorney is Anthony Scarpino, and the county clerk is Timothy C. Idoni.

Board of Legislators

The Westchester County Board of Legislators is the legislative branch of Westchester County. Currently, sixteen of them are Democrats, and one is a Conservative who caucuses with the Republicans. The current Chair of the Board is Legislator Benjamin Boykin. [39]

Politics

Presidential election results [40]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 31.2% 131,23864.9%272,9263.9% 16,491
2012 36.8% 143,12262.0%240,7851.2% 4,540
2008 35.8% 147,82463.4%261,8100.8% 3,410
2004 40.3% 159,62858.1%229,8491.6% 6,293
2000 37.5% 139,27858.6%218,0103.9% 14,525
1996 35.9% 123,71956.9%196,3107.2% 24,834
1992 40.1% 151,99048.7%184,30011.2% 42,550
1988 53.4%197,95645.8% 169,8600.9% 3,192
1984 58.7%229,00541.1% 160,2250.3% 1,078
1980 54.4%198,55235.6% 130,13610.0% 36,461
1976 54.3%208,52745.1% 173,1530.7% 2,616
1972 62.8%262,90136.9% 154,4120.3% 1,122
1968 50.3%201,65243.4% 173,9546.3% 25,201
1964 37.9% 149,05262.0%243,7230.1% 460
1960 56.6%224,56243.2% 171,4100.2% 691
1956 72.2%271,90627.8% 104,8570.0% 0
1952 67.4%237,10532.2% 113,3580.4% 1,454
1948 60.9%177,07732.9% 95,6816.1% 17,853
1944 61.7%174,63538.0% 107,5910.3% 756
1940 62.3%182,88337.5% 110,1140.2% 694
1936 51.1%133,67047.2% 123,5611.7% 4,338
1932 51.1%112,74745.9% 101,4353.0% 6,606
1928 56.2%109,93941.4% 80,9262.4% 4,679
1924 63.9%85,02923.3% 30,96412.8% 17,042
1920 68.3%76,02025.2% 28,0606.5% 7,255
1916 59.4%34,69338.5% 22,4572.1% 1,230
1912 29.5% 15,84339.4%21,16031.1% 16,708
1908 58.4%29,43836.4% 18,3465.2% 2,638
1904 55.9%25,10140.3% 18,0933.8% 1,685
1900 54.9%21,25642.5% 16,4392.7% 1,032
1896 59.6%19,33736.2% 11,7524.2% 1,345
1892 43.2% 13,45651.7%16,0885.1% 1,595
1888 46.8% 13,79950.7%14,9482.5% 732
1884 46.1% 11,28651.1%12,5252.8% 683

Historically, Westchester County was a classic "Yankee Republican" county. It supported Republican presidential candidates in all but two elections from 1896 to 1988. However, it swung Democratic in the early 1990s—much like other New York City suburbs. In the most recent national elections, Westchester voters tended to be far more Democratic than the national average. In fact, Westchester, after New York City and Albany County, has produced the biggest margins for statewide Democrats in recent years. Democratic voters are mainly concentrated in the more populated southern and central parts of the county. More than 63 percent of Westchester County voters voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, the seventh-highest percentage of any New York county.

Currently, all three U.S. congressional representatives from Westchester County are Democrats. Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel represent most of the county. Lowey's district covers most of the county's central and northwestern portions, including White Plains, Chappaqua, and Tarrytown, and reaches into Rockland County. Engel's district is based in the Bronx, but includes most of the southern half of the county, including Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Rye. The northeastern portion of the county is represented by Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, a former advisor to Bill Clinton, who was elected in 2012, defeating Republican incumbent Nan Hayworth.

However, Republicans remain competitive with Democrats in state and local elections. For instance, it voted for Republican George Pataki, by a margin of 23.07% against Democratic candidate, Carl McCall in the gubernatorial race of 2002, and by 26.22% in 1998. Pataki hails from Westchester; he previously served as mayor of Peekskill and represented part of the county in the state house and state senate prior to being elected governor.

In 1998, County Executive Andrew Spano became just the second Democrat to hold the post in at least a half-century. In 2006, county legislator Andrea Stewart-Cousins defeated 20-year incumbent Nicholas Spano for a seat in the New York State Senate in a rematch of the 2004 race, which she had lost by only 18 votes. His brother, Assembly Member Mike Spano, switched parties in July 2007 to become a Democrat. District attorney Janet DiFiore also switched parties from Republican to Democrat in August 2007. In 2009, Republican Rob Astorino ousted three-term county executive Andy Spano, who had the endorsement of the New York Conservative Party, winning in a landslide. Astorino became the first Republican county executive since Andrew O'Rourke left the post in 1997. In 2011, the GOP broke the Democratic two-thirds majority in the county legislature by picking up two seats. However, two of the Democrats formed a coalition with the Republicans to control the board, with a Republican becoming vice-chair. In 2017 Democrats gained three seats to take outright control of the board. In 2019 Democrats gained two seats and in 2020 the last remaining Republican switched parties to become a Democrat. The current composition is sixteen Democrats and one Conservative.

Voter registration as of April 1, 2016 [41]
PartyActive votersInactive votersTotal votersPercentage
Democratic 263,85526,561290,41647.65%
Republican 128,15212,200140,35223.02%
Unaffiliated129,70914,297144,00623.62%
Other [nb 4] 31,4603,34834,8085.71%
Total553,17656,406609,582100%

Westchester County was the home of U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who occupied the Kykuit mansion near the hamlet of Pocantico Hills.

The county is also home to U.S. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who live in Chappaqua. Former First Lady Barbara Bush grew up in Rye.

Law enforcement

There are currently 42 local police agencies located in Westchester County. These agencies frequently work with one another and with other agencies, including county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies responsible for protecting Westchester County.

Emergency services

Westchester County has a wide array of emergency services and is the home to 58 fire departments, 42 ambulance services, three Haz-Mat teams, a volunteer technical rescue team, a fire academy and a fire investigations unit. Each department has career, volunteer or a combination of personnel. Westchester County Department of Emergency Services operates the main dispatching system for EMS and fire departments, located in Valhalla. The department also provides numerous support services for the various agencies throughout the county.

The Career Chief's Association, a cooperative of career fire departments, also operates the Special Operations Task Force. The force consists of six squad companies that can be rapidly assembled for a major hazardous materials incident, CBRNE event, collapse or confined space rescue, or other incident requiring a large number of HazMat or rescue technicians. Over 700 firefighters, police officers and EMS providers were trained to be part of this effort and serve over half the population of Westchester County including Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains, Scarsdale, Eastchester, and the Fairview, Hartsdale, and Greenville Fire Departments in the Town of Greenburgh.

Media

Notable county-wide media outlets include:

Newspapers

Transportation

The old Tappan Zee Bridge connecting Tarrytown to South Nyack Tappan Zee Bridge 05crop.jpg
The old Tappan Zee Bridge connecting Tarrytown to South Nyack
Westchester County Airport near White Plains Westchester County Airport.jpg
Westchester County Airport near White Plains

The combination of the county's numerous roadways and bridges, proximity to New York City, and the county's large population all lead to substantial traffic enforcement and busy local courts.

Transportation routes have been responsible for the county's development patterns, with city and town growth being most pronounced along these corridors.[ citation needed ] There are five mostly north/south corridors and three which traverse the county in the east/west direction. The north/south routes are (going from west to east): S. Route 9/Albany Post Rd/Broadway Corridor, the Saw Mill River Parkway Corridor, the Sprain Brook Parkway, the Hutchinson River Parkway, and the I-95/New England Thruway. The east/west corridors are, from south to north: the Cross County Parkway, the Cross Westchester Expressway/I-287, and the U.S. 202 corridor. [42]

Major roadways

Bridges

The Tappan Zee Bridge connects Tarrytown in Westchester to South Nyack in Rockland County, across the Hudson River; a $4 billion replacement for the original bridge began construction in 2013 and opened in 2017, and was renamed the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. [43] The Bear Mountain Bridge crosses the Hudson from the town of Cortlandt to Orange County.

Public transit

Westchester County Airport serves the county, and is adjacent to White Plains. Bus service is provided by the Bee-Line Bus System (owned by the Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation) within Westchester and to/from the Bronx, Manhattan, and Putnam County. Additionally, the MTA Bus Company runs to and from Getty Square in Yonkers to Midtown Manhattan. The Hudson Link operates express bus routes from city centers and train stations in Tarrytown and White Plains to Nyack, Nanuet, Spring Valley in Rockland County on the opposite side of the Hudson River.

Additionally, NY Waterway operates a water ferry service between Ossining in Westchester and Haverstraw in Rockland County.

Railroads

Amtrak serves Croton-Harmon, New Rochelle, and Yonkers. Commuter rail service in Westchester is provided by Metro-North Railroad (operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority). Metro-North operates three lines in the county; west to east, they are the Hudson, the Harlem, and the New Haven lines. These are former operations of the New York Central and the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroads (and their successors, Penn Central and Conrail), each of which stops in the Bronx between Westchester and Manhattan.

The Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow Old Dutch Church, Sleepy Hollow, NY.jpg
The Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow

Westchester County has been the home of many novelists, including Washington Irving. His most famous work is "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", which is set at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow among other locations in Sleepy Hollow, New York. The story has inspired a variety of works, including the 2013 television series Sleepy Hollow , set in the modern village.

In the X-Men multimedia series, the X-Mansion is located on the Titicus Reservoir, on (fictional) Graymalkin Lane, outside of Salem Center. At the mansion, Professor Charles Xavier runs the Xavier "School for Gifted Youngsters" to educate mutant children and keeps a headquarters for the X-Men.

One of the most successful films shot in the county was the 1988 film Big . While the majority of the film takes place in New York City, the amusement park scenes were filmed in Rye Playland in Westchester. [44]

American singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III recorded a song titled "Westchester County" for his 1983 LP record Fame and Wealth . It recounts his postwar upbringing in Bedford, Westchester County, New York.

In print media, the area is a frequent setting of the Nero Wolfe detective stories by Rex Stout, which ran from 1934 to 1975. An early documented mention of Westchester County is in the Trixie Belden series (which ran from 1948 to 1986). The series was set in Sleepyside-on-Hudson, a fictional village in the Hudson Valley. The original author, Julie Campbell Tatham, modeled the fictional Crabapple Farm in Sleepyside after her own home at Wolf Hollow on Glendale Road in Ossining. She also mentioned it in her last work in the series: Cherry Ames, Country Doctor's Nurse. Westchester is the primary setting and residence of the main characters in The Clique young adult novel series by Lisi Harrison. In Edward Lewis Wallant's novel The Pawnbroker , the main character Sol Nazerman lives in Mount Vernon.

In television, an early broadcast media presentation of Westchester County was on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), whose main characters live in New Rochelle. Much was made of their suburban setting and Rob's separate world from New York City. The 1970s sitcom Maude was set in Tuckahoe. [45] In the final season of the American sitcom Friends , the characters Monica and Chandler moved from New York City to live in Westchester. In the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother , Future Ted and his family live in Westchester. In the AMC show Mad Men , Ossining is home to main characters Don Draper and his family. From season 4, Don lives in Manhattan and Betty lives with Henry Francis and the children in Rye.

See also

Notes

  1. The full set is as follows: 10501–10507, 10509–10511, 10514, 10517–10523, 10526–10528, 10530, 10532–10533, 10535–10536, 10538, 10540, 10543, 10545–10550, 10552–10553, 10560, 10562, 10566–10567, 10570, 10573, 10576–10578, 10580, 10583, 10587–10591, 10594–10598, 10601, 10603–10607, 10701, 10703–10710, 10801, 10803–10805. [4]
  2. The Hudson River Railroad later became part of the New York Central Railroad and is currently the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad.
  3. The village of Briarcliff Manor is located in the towns of Ossining and Mount Pleasant; the village of Mamaroneck is located in the towns of Mamaroneck and Rye.
  4. Included are voters affiliated with the Conservative Party, Green Party, Working Families Party, Independence Party, Women's Equality Party, Reform Party, and other small parties.

Related Research Articles

Greenburgh, New York Town in New York, United States

Greenburgh is a town in the western part of Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 88,400 at the 2010 census.

Tarrytown, New York Town in New York, United States

Tarrytown is a village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about 25 miles (40 km) north of midtown Manhattan in New York City, and is served by a stop on the Metro-North Hudson Line. To the north of Tarrytown is the village of Sleepy Hollow, to the south the village of Irvington and to the east unincorporated parts of Greenburgh. The Tappan Zee Bridge crosses the Hudson at Tarrytown, carrying the New York State Thruway to South Nyack, Rockland County and points in Upstate New York. The population was 11,277 at the 2010 census.

Ossining (village), New York Village in New York, United States

Ossining is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 25,060 at the 2010 census. As a village, it is located in the town of Ossining.

The Hutchinson River Parkway is a north–south parkway in southern New York in the United States. It extends for 18.71 miles (30.11 km) from the massive Bruckner Interchange in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx to the New York–Connecticut state line at Rye Brook. The parkway continues south from the Bruckner Interchange as the Whitestone Expressway (Interstate 678) and north into Greenwich, Connecticut, as the Merritt Parkway. The roadway is named for the Hutchinson River, a short 10 mile (16 km)-long stream in southern Westchester County that the road follows alongside. The river, in turn, was named for English colonial religious leader Anne Hutchinson.

Southern Westchester refers to the southern portion of Westchester County, New York, a dense inner-ring suburban area north of New York City.

Croton Aqueduct Pipeline that carried water to New York City from its reservoirs in 19th century

The Croton Aqueduct or Old Croton Aqueduct was a large and complex water distribution system constructed for New York City between 1837 and 1842. The great aqueducts, which were among the first in the United States, carried water by gravity 41 miles (66 km) from the Croton River in Westchester County to reservoirs in Manhattan. It was built because local water resources had become polluted and inadequate for the growing population of the city. Although the aqueduct was largely superseded by the New Croton Aqueduct, which was built in 1890, the Old Croton Aqueduct remained in service until 1955.

Interstate 95 (I-95) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Miami, Florida, to the Canada–United States border near Houlton, Maine. In the U.S. state of New York, I-95 extends 23.50 miles (37.82 km) from the George Washington Bridge in New York City to the Connecticut state line at Port Chester. From the George Washington Bridge, which carries I-95 across the Hudson River from New Jersey into New York City, it runs across upper Manhattan on the Trans-Manhattan Expressway and continues east across the Harlem River on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge and onto the Cross Bronx Expressway. In the Bronx, I-95 leaves the Cross Bronx at the Bruckner Interchange, joining the Bruckner Expressway to its end. North of the interchange with Pelham Parkway, it then continues northeast via the New England Thruway out of New York City into Westchester County and to the Connecticut state line, where I-95 continues on the Connecticut Turnpike.

New York State Route 9A (NY 9A) is a state highway in the vicinity of New York City in the United States. Its southern terminus is at Battery Place near the northern end of the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel in New York City, where it intersects with both the unsigned Interstate 478 (I-478) and FDR Drive. The northern terminus of NY 9A is at U.S. Route 9 (US 9) in Peekskill. It is predominantly an alternate route of US 9 between New York City and Peekskill; however, in New York City, it is a major route of its own as it runs along the West Side Highway and Henry Hudson Parkway. It is also one of only two signed New York State routes in Manhattan. In northern Westchester County, NY 9A follows the Briarcliff–Peekskill Parkway.

New York State Route 100 Highway in New York

New York State Route 100 (NY 100) is a major north–south state highway in Westchester County, New York, in the United States. It begins parallel to Interstate 87 (I-87) at a junction with the Cross County Parkway in the city of Yonkers and runs through most of the length of the county up to U.S. Route 202 (US 202) in the town of Somers. NY 100 was designated as part of the 1930 renumbering of state highways in New York. Prior to becoming a state road, various sections of NY 100 were part of several important early roads in the county.

New Yorks 18th congressional district U.S. House District in Southeast New York State

The 18th Congressional District of New York is a congressional district for the United States House of Representatives in the northern suburbs and exurbs of New York City. It is currently represented by Democrat Sean Maloney.

Westchester–Putnam Council

Westchester–Putnam Council is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America, serving Boy Scouts in southeastern New York State.

Interstate 487 (I-487) was a proposed intrastate Interstate Highway in the Hudson Valley region of New York in the United States. At its greatest extent, the highway, known as the Hudson River Expressway (HRE), was to run for 47 miles (76 km) on the east side of the Hudson River from I-87 in the Bronx to I-84 east of Beacon. It was met with opposition from its introduction in 1965, leading the project to be gradually scaled back before it was cancelled completely in 1971. Ultimately, only one section was built, an 8-mile (13 km) stretch between Ossining and Peekskill. This road became known as the Croton Expressway and was designated as part of U.S. Route 9 (US 9).

There are forty-five local police agencies in Westchester County, New York. As well as other county, state, and federal agencies responsible for protecting Westchester County, these agencies frequently work with one another and other agencies located in the surrounding counties and states as well as the NYPD. Current economic times has caused a few Westchester municipalities to consider consolidation of police services. The Westchester County Department of Public Safety started providing primary police services for the Town/Village of Mount Kisco in 2015.

U.S. Route 1 (US 1) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that extends from Key West, Florida, to the Canada–United States border at Fort Kent, Maine. In the U.S. state of New York, US 1 extends 21.54 miles (34.67 km) from the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan to the Connecticut state line at Port Chester. It closely parallels Interstate 95 (I-95) for much of its course, and does not serve as a major trunk road within the state. It is not concurrent with any other highways besides I-95 and (briefly) US 9, and few other state highways intersect it.

National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Westchester County, New York

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Westchester County, New York, excluding the city of Peekskill, which has its own list.

National Register of Historic Places listings in southern Westchester County, New York

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in southern Westchester County, New York, excluding the cities of New Rochelle and Yonkers, which have separate lists of their own.

Pocantico River river in the United States of America

The Pocantico River is a nine-mile-long (14 km) tributary of the Hudson River in western central Westchester County, New York, United States. It rises from Echo Lake, in the town of New Castle south of the hamlet of Millwood, and flows generally southwest past Briarcliff Manor to its outlet at Sleepy Hollow. Portions of the towns of Mount Pleasant and Ossining are within its 16-square-mile (41 km2) watershed.

History of Westchester County

The history of Westchester County, a county in the state of New York, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement between the Hudson River and Long Island Sound in the 16th century. The area now known as Westchester County had seen human occupation since at least the Archaic period, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the county did not occur until the Industrial Revolution.

There are numerous historic sites and attractions in Westchester County. These include battlegrounds, cemeteries, churches, farmhouses, underground railroad depots and waystations, and other sites from pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary times, as well as historic and architecturally significant manors and estates in the area. Westchester County also played an important role in the development of the modern suburb, and there are many associated heritage sites and museums. A few of the best known are listed below:

References

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Further reading