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Eastchester
Neighborhood of the Bronx
The historic PS 15 on Dyre Avenue
The historic PS 15 on Dyre 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 The Bronx
Community District The Bronx 12
Economics
Ethnicity
ZIP Codes
10466 and 10475
Area code 718, 347, 929, and 917

Eastchester is a working-class neighborhood in the northeast Bronx in New York City. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are the Bronx-Westchester County border to the north, the New England Thruway to the east, Baychester Avenue to the south, and the intersection of 233rd Street and Baychester Avenue to the west. Boston Road is the primary thoroughfare through Eastchester and Dyre Avenue is the main commercial street. Eastchester includes the sub-neighborhood of Edenwald.

Eastchester is part of Bronx Community Board 12, and its ZIP Codes include 10466 and 10475. The area is patrolled by the 47th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.

History

The neighborhood was historically heavily Ashkenazi-Jewish and Italian-American, It has the same name as a modern-day town located approximately 5 miles to the north, as the neighborhood was included in the Town of Eastchester's extent until the late 19th century upon annexation by the City of New York, its boundaries roughly matching the former Village of Eastchester, which was incorporated on March 25, 1895. The modern-day city of Mount Vernon, located right across the city line and bordering the Eastchester neighborhood, was also once part of the town. While Mount Vernon has developed along similar lines as the neighborhood of Eastchester, the modern-day Town of Eastchester (i.e. north of Mount Vernon) is markedly more affluent.

PS 169 Boston Rd jeh
New school on Boston Road

233rd Street and Boston Road are the major thoroughfares in Eastchester. Intersecting both of these streets, Dyre Avenue is the neighborhood's main commercial strip. There is also a shopping center, Shopwell Plaza (named for the former Shopwell supermarket chain) located on Boston Road next to the Boston-Secor housing project. In 2007 the city's parks department rehabilitated Seton Falls Park.

Since the mid-20th century, the neighborhood's name began to decline in currency, meaning that in recent years residents have not really been cognizant about living in a neighborhood called "Eastchester." This is perhaps due to confusion with Eastchester Road, a thoroughfare which runs through other parts of the Bronx, or with the Town of Eastchester in Westchester County. It is more common to hear the Eastchester neighborhood described as "east of White Plains Road", "south of Mount Vernon", "near Pelham", "East 233rd Street", etc.

Land use and terrain

NYCHA Edenwald Laconia 225 jeh
NYCHA Edenwald

Eastchester is dominated by one and two family homes of various types, one large public housing project, and an industrial district. The total land area is roughly half a square mile. The area is low laying and flat. The Hutchinson River runs through Eastchester, partly along the line of East 233rd Street. Bridges in Eastchester carry the New England Thruway and Boston Road over the river. A far northeastern portion of Eastchester, on the left bank of the Hutchinson River, is often confused with Pelham Manor since a nearby shopping center is located in that town.

The Boston Secor Houses, comprising four buildings, 13, 14, 17 and 18-stories tall, is located in Eastchester.

Edenwald Houses is the largest New York City Housing Authority development in the Bronx, with forty buildings, 3 and 14-stories tall on 48.88 acres (197,800 m2). It has 2,036 apartments housing about 5,300 people. Completed on October 15, 1953 it is bordered by Grenada Place, East 225th Street, Baychester and Laconia Avenues. The Edenwald Projects is divided into two parts, the northside and the southside, which are split by East 229th street. Bordering the south side is the Edenwald Community Center, which provides afterschool care and programs for the youth. During the summer, the center hosts a summer program for kids and jobs for pre-teens.

Demographics

Eastchester has a population over 5,000. The neighborhood is a mix of African Americans, West Indians, Asians, Hispanics and Whites. 47.8% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The entirety of Community District 12, which comprises Eastchester and Williamsbridge, had 156,542 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 81.0 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: 24% are between the ages of between 0–17, 27% between 25–44, and 26% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 13% respectively.

As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 12 was $48,018. In 2018, an estimated 22% of Eastchester and Williamsbridge 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 57% in Eastchester and Williamsbridge, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Eastchester and Williamsbridge are considered high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.

Transportation

Subway service is provided by the New York City Subway via the following IRT Dyre Avenue Line stations, served by the 5 train:

  • Eastchester–Dyre Avenue
  • Baychester Avenue

Bus service is provided by the following New York City Bus and Bee-Line Bus System routes:

Education

PS 169 Boston Rd jeh
New school on Boston Road

Eastchester and Williamsbridge generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018. While 32% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 20% have less than a high school education and 48% 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 Eastchester and Williamsbridge students excelling in math rose from 32% in 2000 to 48% in 2011, though reading achievement remained constant at 37% during the same time period.

Eastchester and Williamsbridge's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is slightly higher than the rest of New York City. In Eastchester and Williamsbridge, 29% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 70% of high school students in Eastchester and Williamsbridge graduate on time, about the same as the citywide average of 75%.

Schools

The former PS 15 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. There are three public elementary schools, PS 68, PS 111, and PS 112. Sixth grade to eighth grade students attend John Philip Sousa MS 142. The only public high school in the area is Albert Tuitt Educational Campus; however, many students attend Harry S. Truman High School in neighboring Co-op City. Those seeking a parochial education can attend Cardinal Spellman High School (co-ed) or either Mount Saint Michael Academy (all boys) in Wakefield or St. Barnabas High School (all girls) in Woodlawn.

Libraries

The New York Public Library (NYPL)'s Edenwald branch is located at 1255 East 233rd Street. The one-story branch opened in 1973. In addition, the NYPL's Baychester branch is located at 2049 Asch Loop North in Co-op City. The one-story branch building opened in 1973 and was renovated in 2003.

Notable people

  • 88-Keys (born 1976), record producer and rapper.
  • Emmy Andujar - Professional basketball player and member of the Puerto Rico national basketball team. Raised in the Edenwald Houses.
  • Jamaal Bowman - U.S. Congressman; former school principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action located in Eastchester.
  • DreamDoll (born Tabatha Robinson), rapper/reality television personality (VH1 series "Bad Girls Club" and "Love & Hip Hop: New York"). Raised in the Edenwald Houses.
  • Andy González (1951-2020), Latin jazz musician who was raised in the Edenwald Houses. Brother of Jerry González
  • Jerry González (1949-2018), Latin jazz musician who was raised in the Edenwald Houses.Brother of Andy González
  • Leo Isacson (1910-1996), attorney and politician notable for winning a seat in the United States House of Representatives from New York's 24th congressional district.
  • Sharissa (born 1975), R&B singer who was raised in the Edenwald Houses.
  • Scoochie Smith (born 1994), professional basketball player who was raised in the Edenwald Houses.
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