Fordham, Bronx facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Neighborhood of the Bronx
Looking south across Fordham Road and along Walton Avenue at Monroe College
|City||New York City|
|Community District||The Bronx 5 and The Bronx 7|
|• Total||0.507 sq mi (1.31 km2)|
|• Density||85,590/sq mi (33,050/km2)|
|• Median income||$26,143|
10453, 10457, 10458, 10468
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Fordham is a neighborhood located in the western Bronx, New York City. Fordham is roughly bordered by East 196th Street to the north, Webster Avenue to the east, Burnside Avenue to the south, and Jerome Avenue to the west. The neighborhood's primary thoroughfares are Fordham Road and Grand Concourse.
Fordham is located within Bronx Community Board 5 and Bronx Community Board 7, and its ZIP Codes include 10453, 10457, 10458 and 10468. Its main subway line is the IND Concourse Line (B D trains), operating under the Grand Concourse, with the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 train) on its western border. The area is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 46th Precinct. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 7 at 737 Melrose Avenue in the Melrose section of the Bronx. The neighborhood is home to the original, Rose Hill campus of Fordham University.
Fordham has a population of around 43,394 people. Its first growth was in the 1920s, when middle-class and working-class families from Manhattan flocked into the area, attracted by the then-modern housing and convenient subway access by Concourse, Jerome Avenue, and Third/Webster Avenues lines to business districts in Manhattan where they could work and shop. It is now predominantly Latin American and African American. There is a significant historic Italian and Albanian population as well.
Fordham is divided into two sections: Community District 5 south of Fordham Road, comprising Fordham South, and Community District 7 north of Fordham Road, comprising Fordham North. Most inhabitants of Community District 5 are youth and middle-aged adults: 28% are between the ages of between 0–17, 29% between 25–44, and 23% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 12% and 8% respectively. Similarly, most inhabitants of Community District 7 are youth and middle-aged adults: 26% are between the ages of between 0–17, 31% between 25–44, and 23% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 11% and 9% respectively.
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 5 was $30,166, and the median household income in Community District 7 was $35,355. In 2018, an estimated 34% of Fordham South 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 65% in Fordham South, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. In 2018, an estimated 26% of Fordham North residents lived in poverty, compared to 25% in all of the Bronx and 20% in all of New York City. One in seven residents (14%) 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 61% in Fordham North, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], both areas are considered low-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.
The name Fordham was given by John Archer, (a Dutch settler who had anglicized his name, when he established a community at 225th Street near the Harlem River in 1666. Archer owned 2000 acres of land which the English approved for settelment. This was called a Patent, making Archer - Lord of the Manor. Sixteen families established farms in area. Alternatively, Fordham, which meant "house by the ford," originated as either as a reference to its location near a shallow crossing of the Bronx River or as a reference to Rev. John Fordham, an Anglican priest.
Old Fordham Village
Old Fordham Village is a section of Fordham that dates back to the English colonial era. It is centered on the intersection of the Grand Concourse and Fordham Road. Fordham Village extends north to about 196th Street, south to about 187th Street, east to Southern Boulevard, and west to Jerome Avenue.
The section's origins date back to about 1751, when Fordham Manor was built, on what was called Rose Hill. Most of the estate is part of the Rose Hill Campus of Fordham University. Besides the main manor house and other side buildings on the campus, other historic buildings and noted homes still exist within Old Fordham Village. For example, American poet Edgar Allan Poe spent his final years with his wife Virginia in a cottage in Fordham which is still standing. The nearby Fordham University Church bell is named "old Edgar" and may have been the inspiration for his poem The Bells.
In the 18th century, the Kings Road went through Old Fordham Village, an area of rural estates and small farms, linking Colonial New York and towns and villages north toward Boston. It was a minor rest stop for travelers and coaches, where many springs fed The Mill Brook that crossed this road. During the American Revolution, it was a critical crossing point for Gen. George Washington's Continental Army retreating toward White Plains to safely escape from New York while being chased by the Colonial British and Hessian Forces. There were many American Patriots that lived in this area. After the revolution, the Kings Road was renamed the Boston Post Road, becoming an important thoroughfare for a growing new nation.
In the 19th century, with the building of the White Plains Line (later the Harlem Line of the New York Central Railroad) and a small station, Old Fordham Village began to grow. Local farmers and dairymen were now able to use the railroad to send their products to a growing New York City. North of the village, part of the Mill Brook was dammed up, and a large pond and ice house was built for shipping and cold storage. It provided fresh ice for the community and the railroad. It was during this time that wealthy merchant Robert Watt gave most of The Rose Hill Estate, east of the village, to a Roman Catholic order, the Society of Jesus. It became known as St. John's College and Hospital and was the precursor of Fordham University. A small south-west portion of the former Rose Hill Estate is known today as Rose Hill Park. West of the village, on the other side of Fordham Hill, the Bathgate Estate was built; it was later acquired by wealthy stock speculator Leonard Jerome. He built the Jerome Park Racetrack, where the first Belmont Stakes was held, on his estate. West of the station in the village area, the Fordham Hotel and Taverine would provide basic needs for visitors for the college and the racetrack.
For the most part, Old Fordham Village remained rural until about 1900, when New York City began to expand. Early mass transit to the suburbs changed the area of what is Fordham today. Old Fordham Village and the surrounding area would become part of the borough of the Bronx within New York City. Many of the remaining farms and estates were sold to developers who built houses and sizable apartment buildings. The formerly quiet little village became a major business and transportation hub. In this area of Fordham, Boston Post Road was renamed Fordham Road and became part of U.S. Route 1 in 1926. The rebuilding of the railroad right of way at Fordham, and most of Webster Avenue, eliminated The Mill Brook and water pond, but the side streets of Old Fordham Village remain active.
Fordham was a predominantly middle class White (of Irish and Jewish origins) neighborhood, from the 1920s through the late 1970s, when many families moved to the suburbs or the Los Angeles area, or retired to Florida. Belmont was formerly a portion of Fordham and South Fordham.
Land use and terrain
Fordham is dominated by 5- and 6-story apartment buildings, often set flush to the sidewalk. Many of the apartments on the Grand Concourse are taller.
Fordham University maintains its historic original campus on much of the former Rose Hill Manor in the center of the neighborhood. It is one of the largest "green" campuses in New York City, and its traditional collegiate gothic architecture often serves as a backdrop for television and film productions.
The Fordham Road Business Improvement District operates on the northern border of the neighborhood. This retail district is the longest in the Bronx.
- Fordham Road station (4 train)
- Kingsbridge Road station (4 train)
- 182nd–183rd Streets (B and D train)
- Fordham Road station (B D trains)
- Fordham Station (Metro-North)
The following MTA Regional Bus Operations bus routes serve Fordham:
- Bx1: to Riverdale or Mott Haven (via Grand Concourse)
- Bx2: to Kingsbridge Heights or Mott Haven (via Grand Concourse)
- Bx3: to Riverdale or Washington Heights, George Washington Bridge (via University Avenue)
- Bx9: to Riverdale or West Farms Square – East Tremont Avenue station (2 5 trains) (via Kingsbridge Road)
- Bx12 (Including Select Bus Service): to Bay Plaza Shopping Center or Inwood – 207th Street station (A train) (via Fordham Road–Pelham Parkway)
- Bx15: to The Hub or Manhattanville (via Third Avenue)
- Bx19: to New York Botanical Garden or Riverbank State Park (via Southern Boulevard & East 149th Street)
- Bx17: to Port Morris (via Prospect-Crotona Avenues)
- Bx22: to Bedford Park or Castle Hill (via Castle Hill Avenue)
- Bx28: to Co-op City (via Gun Hill Road)
- Bx34: to Woodlawn (via Bainbridge Avenue)
- Bx38: to Bay Plaza Shopping Center (via Gun Hill Road) (Sunday nights only)
- Bx41 (Including Select Bus Service): to Williamsbridge or Third Avenue – 149th Street station (2 5 trains, via Webster Avenue)
Fordham is also served by the following Bee-Line Bus System routes to Westchester County, New York:
- BL60: to White Plains, New York (via Boston Road)
- BL61: to Port Chester, New York (via Boston Road)
- BL62: to White Plains, New York (via Boston Road)
Fordham generally has a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. In Fordham South, 10% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, while 34% have less than a high school education and 46% are high school graduates or have some college education. In Fordham North, 23% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, while 32% have less than a high school education and 45% 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 Fordham South students excelling in math rose from 19% in 2000 to 43% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 24% to 28% during the same time period. The percentage of Fordham North students excelling in math also rose from 21% in 2000 to 48% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 28% to 33% during the same time period.
Fordham South and Fordham North's rates of elementary school student absenteeism are higher than the rest of New York City. 30% of elementary school students in Fordham South and 28% in Fordham North missed twenty or more days per school year, higher than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 66% of high school students in Fordham South and 70% of high school students in Fordham North graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.
Fordham contains the following public elementary schools:
- PS 33 Timothy Dwight (grades PK–5)
- PS/IS 54 (grades PK–5)
- PS 159 Luis Muñoz Marin Biling (grades K–5)
- PS 246 Poe Center (grades K–5)
The following public middle schools serve grades 6–8 unless otherwise indicated:
- Academy for Personal Leadership and Excellence
- Jonas Bronck Academy
The Rose Hill campus of Fordham University, which is the university's oldest campus, is located in Fordham. The campus is home to Fordham College at Rose Hill, the Gabelli School of Business, and a division of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, as well as the Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences and Religion and Religious Education.
Monroe College, a private for-profit college, has been located in Fordham since 1967, and is near the Fordham shopping district.
Fordham, Bronx Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.