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Castle Hill
Neighborhood of the Bronx
Quimby Avenue east of Castle Hill Avenue
Quimby Avenue east of Castle Hill Avenue
Country  United States
State  New York
City Flag of New York City.svg New York City
Borough Flag of Bronx County, New York.svg Bronx
Community District Bronx 9
Area
 • Total 3 km2 (1.3 sq mi)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 38,557
 • Density 11,500/km2 (29,700/sq mi)
Economics
 • Median income $42,171
ZIP Codes
10462, 10472, 10473
Area code 718, 347, 929, and 917

Castle Hill is a neighborhood located in the southeast section of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. Its boundaries are Waterbury Avenue and Westchester Avenue to the north, Westchester Creek to the east, the East River to the south, and White Plains Road to the west. Unionport is a subsection of Castle Hill, typically considered north of Lafayette Avenue.

The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9. ZIP Codes include 10462, 10472, and 10473. The area is patrolled by the NYPD's 43rd Precinct. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 8 at 2794 Randall Avenue.

Demographics

The neighborhood predominantly consists of Latin Americans (a plurality having Puerto Rican and Dominican ancestry) and African Americans. 73% of residential units are renter-occupied. There is significant income diversity but the poverty rate is higher and median household income lower than the New York City average.

The entirety of Community District 9, which comprises Castle Hill, Clason Point, and Parkchester, had 184,105 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 79.7 years. This is about the same as the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 25% are between the ages of between 0–17, 29% between 25–44, and 24% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 12% respectively.

As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 9 was $40,005. In 2018, an estimated 26% of Castle Hill and Parkchester residents lived in poverty, compared to 25% in all of the Bronx and 20% in all of New York City. One in eight residents (13%) were unemployed, compared to 13% in the Bronx and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 55% in Castle Hill and Parkchester, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Castle Hill and Parkchester are considered low-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.

Land use and terrain

Castlehillbx2
Large apartment buildings
LeftBPugsleys
New attached multi-unit homes; the Castle Hill Houses sit in the background

Castle Hill is dominated by multi-unit, 2 and 3 story homes and apartment buildings. In the 1990s and 2000s, construction of modern 2 and 3 unit row-houses and apartment buildings have increased the percentage of owners versus renters. There is also a slither of industry located along the Hutchinson River and Zerega Avenue. The area gradually comes to peak elevation along Castle Hill Avenue. The Castle Hill Avenue Business Improvement District was started with the assistance of Councilwoman Annabel Palma and James Vacca in June 2012.

History

Relatively undeveloped, the neighborhood began sprouting along the now defunct Castle Hill Avenue street-car system. Later, the neighborhood became more dense surrounding the construction of the Westchester Avenue Elevated. Castle Hill soon became home to many European immigrants looking for an alternative to the overpopulated immigrant communities found in Lower Manhattan. Traditionally an urban working-class neighborhood, an influx of lower-income earners and Latin American migrants beginning mid century diversified the income profile. Like most neighborhoods in NYC, the area went through a period of decay beginning in the 1950s and 1960s with a flight of moderate-income earners. The most severe flight occurred in the areas surrounding the Castle Hill Houses, a massive low-income public housing development. Since the late 1980s, and particularly since the 2000s, significant renewal has taken place. Many new residential and mixed use properties have been constructed and formally abandoned properties rehabilitated. For example, a New York City project to change the water pipes throughout the neighborhood has rejuvenated the area by rebuilding all sidewalks and renewing the asphalt in all of the streets.

Parks and recreation

  • On the southern end of Castle Hill Avenue is Castle Hill Point Park. The renovated greenspace features boat ramps, fishing piers, and spectacular views of the Throgs Neck and Whitestone Bridges.
  • Castle Hill YMCA (the only YMCA in the Bronx), which features indoor and outdoor pools, a baseball field, basketball court, gym and an outdoor sitting area with a great view of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.
  • The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club (Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse) located at 1930 Randall Avenue, which, among other things, features an ice skating rink.

Transportation

The following MTA Regional Bus Operations bus routes serve Castle Hill:

The following New York City Subway station serves Castle Hill:

  • Castle Hill Avenue (6 <6> trains)

The Bruckner Expressway, carrying Interstate 278, also runs through the neighborhood.

In popular culture

Scenes from the 1984 movie The Pope of Greenwich Village directed by Stuart Rosenberg were filmed under the Castle Hill stop on the #6 train and on the platform as well.

Education

Castle Hill and Parkchester generally have a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city as of 2018. While 23% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 30% have less than a high school education and 47% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 26% of Bronx residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher. The percentage of Castle Hill and Parkchester students excelling in math rose from 23% in 2000 to 44% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 27% to 30% during the same time period.

Castle Hill and Parkchester's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Castle Hill and Parkchester, 28% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 69% of high school students in Castle Hill and Parkchester graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.

Schools

Public schools

  • PS 138 Samuel Randall School (K-5)
  • PS 36 - Unionport School (K-5)
  • PS/MS 194

Private and parochial schools

  • St. John Vianney Cure of Ars School (now closed)
  • Holy Family School (Pre K-8)
  • St. Raymond Elementary School (Pre-K3 through 8th Grade)
  • Saint Raymond High School For Boys
  • St. Raymond Academy for Girls, an all-girls', Catholic high school

Special education programs

  • New LIFE School (5-8)

Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL) operates the Castle Hill branch at 947 Castle Hill Avenue. The branch opened in 1963 and moved to its current location in 1981.

Notable people

  • James De La Vega (born 1972), visual artist of Puerto Rican descent best known for his street aphorisms and muralist art.
  • Darrin Henson (born 1972), actor and choreographer, was raised in the Castle Hill area.
  • Ed Kranepool (born 1944), former baseball player who played his entire MLB career as a first baseman/pinch-hitter with the New York Mets. Born and raised at 847 Castle Hill Avenue, living there until he was signed by the Mets in 1962.
  • Jennifer Lopez ("J-Lo"; born 1969), musician and actress, raised at 2210 Blackrock Avenue; Castle Hill Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 2006, first ballot.
  • Lynda Lopez, journalist and author, also raised with sister Jennifer Lopez at 2210 Blackrock Avenue
  • Remy Ma (born 1980), female rapper, was raised in the Castle Hill Houses. Castle Hill Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 2007, first ballot.
  • Big Dennis Rivera (born 1969), radio personality and producer, raised in Castle Hill area.
  • Kenny Satterfield (born 1981), former NBA player with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (born 1958), astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, lived in the area as a child.
  • Kerry Washington (born 1977), actress, was raised in Jamie Towers.

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