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Once the site of a key Revolutionary battle, Westchester Village is in the throes of a long-awaited renaissance, led by the renovation of a park once notorious for its rundown condition.Read more about Westchester Village
Located in the northeastern section of the Bronx, Westchester Village is surrounded by Parkchester, Unionport and Schuylerville. English physician Thomas Pell purchased land here from the Siwanoy Indians in 1654, then encouraged the establishment of Westchester Village. The 19th Century spire of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, which was built some 40 years later, still remains, peeking over subway tracks. On October 12, 1776, this is where a group of riflemen held off the British by dismantling part of the Westchester Creek Bridge.
The area remained farmland for many years, but construction of the subway in 1920 attracted Irish and Italian immigrants. More recently, Hispanics and South Asians, many from Bangladesh, have moved in. According to the latest census, more than 60 percent of residents were Hispanic, though the Asian population had grown more than 48 percent.
Historic buildings, including Victorian townhouses, retain the neighborhood’s historic context amid bold townhouses and brick rowhouses, while affordable rents and easy transportation makes this a desirable residential area today.
The city dedicated $4.7 million to revitalize Owen Dolan Park, once featured on a local news station for its poor condition, leading the neighborhood revitalization. A row of stores destroyed in a 2009 has been rebuilt, and new cultural offerings include the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and in 2015 the Bronx Council on the Arts. Recent renovations to the Pearly Gates playground will appeal to families, while the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden appeal to everyone.
As part of the Bronx, this area is culturally significant for its contribution to hip-hop music, off-Broadway theaters and film settings, including a “A Bronx Tale.” Yankee Stadium is less than six miles from Westchester Village and is easily accessed via I-95 or public transportation.
Caridad Restaurant is a popular place for affordable authentic Mexican food while Coconut Palm Bar & Grill offers Caribbean food. Some of the best pizza and calzones can be found at Cestra’s Pizza.
Direct subway service via the 6 train is a main draw, Grand Central Terminal 45 minutes away. The village is also a bus hub with eight lines bringing riders to the subway. East Tremont Avenue, Westchester Avenue and Williamsbridge Road are the main roads.