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Yonkers's downtown is centered on a plaza known as Getty Square, where the municipal government is located. The downtown area also houses significant local businesses and non-profits. It serves as a major retail hub for Yonkers and the northwest Bronx.
The city is home to several attractions, including Untermyer Park; Hudson River Museum; Saw Mill River daylighting, wherein a parking lot was removed to uncover a river; Science Barge; and Sherwood House. Yonkers Raceway, a harness racing track, renovated its grounds and clubhouse, and added legalized video slot machine gambling in 2006 in a "racino" called Empire City. This casino-style gambling added to the attraction of the track as a destination.
Major shopping areas are located in Getty Square, on South Broadway, at the Cross County Shopping Center and Westchester's Ridge Hill, and along Central Park Avenue, informally called "Central Ave" by area residents, a name it takes officially a few miles north in White Plains.
Yonkers is known as the "City of Seven Hills," which includes Park, Nodine, Ridge, Cross, Locust, Glen, and Church hills.
Philipse Manor Hall
The land on which the city is built was once part of a Dutch 24,000-acre (97-square-kilometer) land grant called Colen Donck. It ran from the current Manhattan-Bronx border at Marble Hill northwards for 12 miles (19 km), and from the Hudson River eastwards to the Bronx River. In July 1645, this area was granted to Adriaen van der Donck, the patroon of Colendonck. Van der Donck was known locally as the Jonkheer or Jonker (etymologically, "young gentleman," derivation of old Dutch jong (young) and heer ("lord"); in effect, "Esquire"), a word from which the name "Yonkers" is directly derived. Van der Donck built a saw mill near where the confluence of Nepperhan Creek and the Hudson. The Nepperhan is now also known as the Saw Mill River. Van der Donck was killed in the Peach War. His wife, Mary Doughty, was taken captive by Native Americans and later ransomed.
Near the site of van der Donck's mill is Philipse Manor Hall, a Colonial-era manor house owned by Dutch colonists. Today the manor is preserved and operated as a museum and archive, offering many glimpses into life before the American Revolution. The original structure (later enlarged) was built around 1682 by Frederick Philipse and his wife Margaret Hardenbroeck. Philipse was a wealthy Dutchman who by the time of his death had amassed an enormous estate, which encompassed the entire modern City of Yonkers, as well as several other Hudson River towns. Philipse's great-grandson, Frederick Philipse III, was a prominent Loyalist during the American Revolution. He had many economic ties to English businessmen, which also resulted in political ties. Because of his political leanings, he was forced to flee to England. The victorious rebels in New York state confiscated all the lands and property that belonged to the Philipse family and sold it.
Yonkers, New York
For its first 200 years, Yonkers was a small farming town with an active industrial waterfront. Yonkers's later growth rested largely on developing industry. In 1853, Elisha Otis invented the first safety elevator and the Otis Elevator Company opened the first elevator factory in the world on the banks of the Hudson near what is now Vark Street. In the 1880s it relocated to larger quarters (now adapted and used as the Yonkers Public Library). Around the same time, the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Company (in the Saw Mill River Valley) expanded to 45 buildings, 800 looms, and more than 4,000 workers. It was known as one of the premier carpet-producing centers in the world.
The community was incorporated as a village in the northern part of the Town of Yonkers in 1854 and as a city in 1872. In 1874 the southern part of the town, including Kingsbridge and Riverdale, was annexed by New York City as part of The Bronx. In 1898, Yonkers (along with Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island) voted on a referendum to determine if they wanted to become part of New York City. While the results were positive elsewhere, the returns were so negative in Yonkers and neighboring Mount Vernon that those two areas were not included in the consolidated city and remained independent. Still, some residents call Yonkers "the Sixth Borough," referring to its location on the New York City border, its urban character, and the failed merger vote.
During the American Civil War, 254 Yonkers residents joined the US Army and Navy. They enlisted primarily in four different regiments. These included the 6th New York Heavy Artillery, the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, the 17th New York Volunteers, and the 15th NY National Guard. During the New York City Draft Riots, Yonkers formed the Home Guards. This force of constables was formed to protect Yonkers from rioting that was feared to spread from New York City, but it never did. In total, seventeen Yonkers residents were killed during the Civil War.
From 1888, the New York City and Northern Railway Company (later the New York Central Railroad) connected Yonkers to Manhattan and points north. A three-mile spur to Getty Square operated until 1943.
Aside from being a manufacturing center, Yonkers played a key role in the development of sports recreation in the United States. In 1888, Scottish-born John Reid founded the first golf course in the United States, St. Andrew's Golf Club, in Yonkers.
"Typical homes of New York business men" in the Colonial Heights neighborhood of Yonkers, 1911.
Bakelite, the first completely synthetic plastic, was invented in Yonkers circa 1906 by Leo Baekeland, and manufactured there until the late 1920s. Today, two of the former Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Company loft buildings located at 540 and 578 Nepperhan Avenue have been repurposed to house the YoHo Artist Community. This collective group of artists works out of private studios there.
During World War I, a total of 6,909 Yonkers residents entered military service. This was approximately seven percent of the population.:vi Most Yonkers men joined either the 27th Division or the 77th Division.:6 In total one hundred thirty-seven Yonkers residents were killed during the war.:77 Among the survivors of the U.S.S. President Lincoln, a Navy transport ship sunk during the war, were seventeen sailors from Yonkers.:15
Civilians helped in the war effort by joining organizations such as the American Red Cross. In 1916, there were one hundred twenty-six people in the Yonkers chapter of the Red Cross. By the end of the war, 15,358 Yonkers residents were members of the chapter. Mostly women, they prepared surgical dressings, created hospital garments for the wounded, and knit articles of clothing for refugees and soldiers. Besides joining the Red Cross, residents of Yonkers donated to various war drives. The total amount raised for these drives was $19,255,255.:23–24
Early in the 20th century, Yonkers also hosted a brass era automobile maker, Colt Runabout Company. Although the vehicle reportedly performed well, the company went under. Yonkers was the headquarters of the Waring Hat Company, at the time the nation's largest hat manufacturer. During World War II, the city's factories were converted to produce items for the war effort, such as tents and blankets by the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Factory, and tanks by the Otis Elevator factory. After World War II, however, increased competition from less expensive imports resulted in a decline in manufacturing in Yonkers's numerous industrial jobs were lost. The Alexander Smith Carpet Company, one of the city's largest employers, ceased operation during a labor dispute in June 1954.
In 1983, the Otis Elevator Factory finally closed its doors. With the loss of such jobs, Yonkers became primarily a residential city. Some neighborhoods, such as Crestwood and Park Hill, became popular with wealthy New Yorkers who wished to live outside Manhattan without giving up urban conveniences. Yonkers's excellent transportation infrastructure, including three commuter railroad lines (now two: the Harlem and Hudson Lines), and five parkways and thruways, made it a desirable city in which to live. It is a 15-minute drive from Manhattan and has numerous prewar homes and apartment buildings, Yonkers's manufacturing sector has also shown a resurgence in the early 21st century.
On January 4, 1940, Yonkers resident Edwin Howard Armstrong transmitted the first FM radio broadcast (on station W2XCR) from the Yonkers home of C.R. Runyon, a co-experimenter. Yonkers had the longest running pirate radio station, owned by Allan Weiner, which operated during the 1970s through the 1980s.
In 1942, a short subway connection was planned between Getty Square and the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, which terminates in Riverdale at 242nd Street slightly south of the city line. The plan was dropped.
In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Yonkers's population as 95.8% white and 4.0% black. The city's struggles with racial discrimination and segregation were highlighted in a decades-long federal lawsuit. After a 1985 decision and an unsuccessful appeal, Yonkers's schools were integrated in 1988. Federal judge Leonard B. Sand ruled that Yonkers had engaged in institutional segregation in housing and school policies for over 40 years. He tied the illegal concentration of public housing and private housing discrimination to the city's resistance to ending racial isolation in its public schools.
Yonkers Public Library
In the 1980s and 1990s, Yonkers developed a national reputation for racial tension, based on a long-term battle between the city and the NAACP over the building of subsidized low-income housing projects in the city. The city planned to use federal funding for urban renewal efforts within Downtown Yonkers exclusively; other groups, led by the NAACP, believed that the resulting concentration of low-income housing in traditionally poor neighborhoods would perpetuate poverty. Although the City of Yonkers had been warned in 1971 by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development against further building of low-income housing in west Yonkers, it continued to support subsidized housing in this area between 1972 and 1977.
Yonkers gained national/international attention during the summer of 1988, when it reneged on its previous agreement to build promised municipal public housing in the eastern portions of the city, an agreement it had made in a consent decree after losing an appeal in 1987. After its reversal, the city was found in contempt of the federal courts. Judge Sand imposed a fine on Yonkers which started at $100 and doubled every day, capped at $1 million per day by an appeals court, until the city capitulated to the federally mandated plan.
Yonkers remained in contempt of court until September 9, 1988. The City Council relented in the wake of having to close the library and cutback on sanitation measures because of paying the fines. It also was considering having to make massive city layoffs which would have adversely affected its ability to provide services to the upper classes it was trying to retain. First-term mayor Nicholas C. Wasicsko fought to save the city from financial disaster and bring about unity. Yonkers's youngest mayor (elected at age 28), Wasicsko struggled in city politics. It was scarred with the stigma of the "Balkanization of Yonkers". He succeeded in helping to end the city's contempt of the courts, but was voted out of office as a result. His story is the subject of a miniseries called Show Me a Hero, which aired on HBO in 2015. It was adapted from the 1999 nonfiction book of the same name by former New York Times writer, Lisa Belkin.
A Kawasaki railroad cars assembly plant opened in 1986 in the former Otis plant. It produces the new R142A, R143, R160B, and R188 cars for the New York City Subway, and the PA4 and PA5 series for PATH.
In the 2000s, some areas of Yonkers that border similar neighborhoods in Riverdale, Bronx began seeing an influx of Orthodox Jews. Subsequently, Riverdale Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Service began serving some neighborhoods in the southwest section of the city. There is also a small Jewish cemetery, the Sherwood Park Cemetery.
High-rise apartments along the Hudson River in Northwest Yonkers
The city is spread out over hills rising from near sea level at the eastern bank of the Hudson River to 416 feet (126 m) at Sacred Heart Church, whose spire can be seen from Long Island, New York City, and New Jersey.
The city occupies 20.3 square miles (52.6 km2), including 18.1 square miles (46.8 km2) of land and 2.2 square miles (5.8 km2) (11.02%) of water, according to the United States Census Bureau. The Bronx River separates Yonkers from Mount Vernon, Tuckahoe, Eastchester, Bronxville, and Scarsdale to the east. The town of Greenburgh is to the north, and the Hudson River forms the western border.
On the south, Yonkers borders the Riverdale, Woodlawn, and Wakefield sections of The Bronx. In addition, the southernmost point of Yonkers is 2 miles (3 kilometres) north of the northernmost point of Manhattan when measured from Broadway & Caryl Avenue in Yonkers to Broadway & West 228th Street in the Marble Hill section of Manhattan.
Much of the city developed around the Saw Mill River. This enters Yonkers from the north and flows into the Hudson River in the Getty Square neighborhood. Portions of the Saw Mill River that were earlier buried in flumes beneath parking lots are being uncovered, or "daylighted". This promotes the restoration of habitat for plants, fish and other fauna.
The gentilic for residents is alternately Yonkersonian or Yonkersite.
Census Pop. %±
1860 8,218 —
1870 12,733 54.9%
1880 18,892 48.4%
1890 32,033 69.6%
1900 47,931 49.6%
1910 79,803 66.5%
1920 100,176 25.5%
1930 134,646 34.4%
1940 142,598 5.9%
1950 152,798 7.2%
1960 190,634 24.8%
1970 204,297 7.2%
1980 195,351 ?4.4%
1990 188,082 ?3.7%
2000 196,086 4.3%
2010 195,976 ?0.1%
Est. 2019 200,370 2.2%
Historical sources: 1790-1990
Demographic profile 2010 1970
White 55.8% 76.2% 92.9% 96.7%
—Non-Hispanic 41.4% 67.1% 89.9% N/A
Black or African American 16.0% 14.1% 6.4% 3.2%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 34.7% 16.7% 3.5% N/A
Asian 5.8% 3.0% 0.4% —
As of the census of 2010, there were 195,976 people in the city. The population density was 10,827.4 people per square mile (4,187.5/km2). There were 80,839 housing units at an average density of 4,466.2 per square mile (1,727.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.8% White, 18.7% African American, 0.7% Native American, 5.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.7% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. 34.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any racial background. Non-Hispanic Whites were 41.4% of the population in 2010, down from 89.9% in 1970.
According to the 2000 Census, 19.9% were of Italian and 11.6% Irish descent. 61.3% spoke only English at home; 22.7% spoke Spanish, 5% Arabic, 3.9% Italian, and 1.3% Portuguese at home.
There were 74,351 households, out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them in 2000, 44.2% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.23.
In 2000, the city the population was spread out, with 24.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 25, 30.6% from 25 to 45, 21.2% from 45 to 65, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,663 in 2000, and the median income for a family was $53,233. Males had a median income of $41,598 versus $34,756 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,793. 15.5% of the population and 13.0% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 24.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
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Though Yonkers contains many small residential enclaves and communities, it can conveniently be divided into four quarters, demarcated by the Saw Mill River. There are 37 or more distinct neighborhoods, though many of these names are rarely used today except by older residents and real-estate brokers.
Northeast Yonkers is a primarily Irish-American and Italian-American area. House sizes vary widely, from small houses set close together, to larger homes in areas like Lawrence Park West and mid-rise apartment buildings along Central Avenue (NY 100). Central Avenue (officially named Central Park Avenue) provides an abundance of shopping for Yonkers residents. Shopping centers along Central Avenue include stores such as Best Buy, Burlington Coat Factory, Kohl's, Bob's Furniture and Barnes & Noble, as well as many other stores and restaurants. Notable former residents include Steven Tyler (born Steven Tallarico) of the rock band Aerosmith, whose childhood home was located at 100 Pembrook Drive.
Northeast Yonkers contains the upscale neighborhoods of Crestwood, Colonial Heights, and Cedar Knolls, as well as the wealthy enclaves of Beech Hill and Lawrence Park West. It also contains a gated community off the eastern edge of the Grassy Sprain Reservoir known as Winchester Villages. Landmarks include St Vladimir's Seminary, as well as Sarah Lawrence College, and the Tanglewood Shopping Center (one-time home of The Tanglewood Boys gang). Northeast Yonkers is somewhat more expensive than the rest of the city, and due to the proximity of several Metro-North commuter railroad stations, its residents tend to be employed in corporate positions in Manhattan.
The Blue Cube, a landmark former factory on the Northwest Yonkers waterfront.
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church
Riverdale Avenue looking north from the Bronx line
Messiah Baptist Church
Northwest Yonkers is a collection of widely varying neighborhoods, spanning from the Hudson River to around the New York State Thruway/I-87 and from Ashburton Avenue north to the Hastings-on-Hudson border. With the Hudson River bordering it to the west, this area has many Victorian-era homes with panoramic views of the Palisades. An interest in historic preservation has taken hold in this neighborhood in recent years, as demonstrated on streets like Shonnard Terrace, Delavan Terrace, and Hudson Terrace.
Neighborhoods include Nepera Park, Runyon Heights, Homefield, Glenwood, and Greystone. Landmarks include the Hudson River Museum, the Lenoir Nature Preserve, and the nationally recognized Untermyer Park and Gardens. The significant amount of surviving Victorian architecture and 19th-century estates in northwest Yonkers has attracted many filmmakers in recent years. In fact, the Untermyer Park and Gardens is not only Yonkers hidden gem but is the number one attraction in Westchester County.
The two block section of Palisade Avenue between Chase and Roberts Avenues in northwest Yonkers is colloquially known as "the north end" or "the end". It was and still is the only retail area in the neighborhood, and was well known for an original soda fountain store, "Urich's," and Robbins Pharmacy. It was once the end of the #2 trolley line, which has since been replaced by a Bee-line Bus route. One part of Yonkers that is sometimes overlooked is Nepera Park. This is a small section at the northern part of Nepperhan Avenue on the Hastings-on-Hudson border. Nepperhan Avenue in Nepera Park is also a major shopping district for the area.
Southeast Yonkers is mostly Irish-American (many of the Irish being native born) and Italian-American. Many of the businesses and type of architecture in southeast Yonkers bear a greater resemblance to certain parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island than to points north. Southeastern Yonkers is largely within walking distance of the Woodlawn and Wakefield sections of the Bronx. Many residents regard eastern McLean Avenue, home to a vibrant Irish community shared with Woodlawn, to be the true hub of Yonkers.
Similarly, a portion of Midland Avenue in the Dunwoodie section has been called the "Little Italy" of Yonkers. Landmarks of southeastern Yonkers include the Cross County Shopping Center, Yonkers Raceway, and St. Joseph's Seminary in the Dunwoodie neighborhood, which was visited by Pope John Paul II in October 1995 and later by Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008.
Getty Square is Yonkers's downtown and the civic center and central business district of the city. Much of southwest Yonkers grew densely along the multiple railroads and trolley (now bus) lines along South Broadway and in Getty Square, connecting to New York City. Clusters of apartment buildings surrounded the stations of the Yonkers branch of the New York and Putnam Railroad and the Third Avenue Railway trolley lines and these buildings still remain although now served by the Bee-Line Bus System. The railroad companies themselves built neighborhoods of mixed housing types ranging from apartment buildings to large mansions in areas like Park Hill wherein the railroad also built a funicular to connect it with the train station in the valley. This traditionally African-American and white area has seen a tremendous influx of immigrants from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Middle East. Off South Broadway and Yonkers Avenue one can find residential neighborhoods, such as Lowerre, Nodine Hill, Park Hill, and Hudson Park (off the Hudson River) with a mix of building styles ranging from dense clusters of apartment buildings, blocks of retail with apartments above, multifamily row houses, and detached single-family homes.
Other neighborhoods of these types, although with a larger number of detached houses, are Ludlow Park, Hudson Park, and Van Cortlandt Crest, off Riverdale Avenue next to the border with Riverdale.
The area is also home to significant historical and educational institutions including the historic Philipse Manor Hall (a New York State Historic Site that houses one of three papier-mache ceilings in the United States), The Science Barge, Beczak Environmental Education Center, and a 2003 Yonkers Public Library.
Many residents are of African, Caribbean, Italian, or Mexican descent while an influx those from other cultural backgrounds has continued to shape a culturally diverse community. Some neighborhoods right on the Riverdale border are increasingly becoming home to Orthodox Jews. The revitalization of the Getty Square area has helped to nurture growth for Southwest Yonkers.
In the early 2000s several new luxury apartment buildings were built along the Hudson. There is also a new "Sculpture Meadow on the Hudson," renovation of a Victorian-era pier, and a new public library housed in the remodeled Otis elevator factory. Peter Kelly's award-winning fine dining restaurant X20 - Xaviars on Hudson is located at the renovated pier with much success. There are new proposals along with the current projects which are intended to revitalize downtown Yonkers.
Yonkers City Hall
Yonkers is governed via a mayor-council system. The Yonkers City Council consists of seven members, six each elected from one of six districts, as well as a Council President to preside over the council. The mayor and city council president are elected in a citywide vote. The current mayor is Democrat Mike Spano and the Council President is Michael Khader.
Yonkers is typically a Democratic stronghold just like the rest of Westchester County and most of New York state on the national level. In 1992, Yonkers voted for George H. W. Bush over Bill Clinton and Ross Perot for president, but has voted solidly Democratic ever since. At a local level, recent mayors of Yonkers have included Republicans Phil Amicone and John Spencer, while the Yonkers City Council has mostly been controlled by Republicans. In the State Assembly, Yonkers is represented by Democrats J. Gary Pretlow and Nader Sayegh, and in the New York State Senate, by Democrats Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Shelley Mayer. At the federal level, Democratic representative Eliot Engel represents the city.
Public schools in Yonkers are operated by Yonkers Public Schools.
Sarah Lawrence College, which gives its address as Bronxville, NY 10708, is actually located in Yonkers. Westchester Community College operates a number of extension centers in Yonkers, with the largest one at the Cross County Shopping Center.
Libraries are operated by the Yonkers Public Library.
The Japanese School of New York was located in Yonkers for one year; on August 18, 1991 the school moved from Yonkers to Queens, New York City and on September 1, 1992 classes began at its current location in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York operates Catholic schools in Westchester County. St. Peter's Catholic Elementary School at 204 Hawthorne Avenue, founded by the Sisters of Charity, celebrated its 100th anniversary in September 2011. St. Casimir School in Yonkers closed in 2013.
Academy for Jewish Religion, a rabbinical and cantorial school, is located in the Getty Square neighborhood of Yonkers. Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary is located in Crestwood.
Yonkers Metro-North train station.
Yonkers has the eleventh-highest rate of public transit ridership among cities in the United States, and 27% of Yonkers households do not own a car.
Bus service in Yonkers is provided by Westchester County Bee-Line Bus System, the second-largest bus system in New York State, along with some MTA Bus Company express routes to Manhattan. Yonkers is the top origin and destination for the Bee-Line Bus service area, including Westchester and the northern Bronx, with the Getty Square intermodal hub seeing passenger levels in the millions annually.
Yonkers is served by two heavy-rail commuter lines. Hudson Line Metro-North Railroad stations provide commuter service to New York City: Ludlow, Yonkers, Glenwood and Greystone. The Yonkers station is also served by Amtrak. All of the named Empire Service trains except the Lake Shore Limited serve the Yonkers station. Several Harlem Line stations are on or very near the city's eastern border. These include Wakefield, Mt. Vernon West, Fleetwood, Bronxville, Tuckahoe and Crestwood. A third commuter line dating from the late 19th century, the Putnam Division, was shut down in phases with the final passenger trains making their last runs in 1958.
New York Water Taxi formerly operated a ferry service from downtown Yonkers to Manhattan's Financial District, but it ceased in December 2009.
Yonkers began a dockless bikeshare program operated by LimeBike in May 2018.
Roads and paths
Major limited-access roads in Yonkers include Interstate 87 (the New York State Thruway), the Saw Mill, Bronx River, Sprain Brook and Cross County parkways. US 9, NY 9A and 100 are important surface streets.
The main line of the former New York and Putnam Railroad running through the middle of Yonkers has been converted into a paved walking and bicycling path, called the South County Trailway. It runs north–south in Yonkers from the Hastings-on-Hudson border in the north to the Bronx border in the south at Van Cortlandt Park where it is unpaved as of 2014 and is referred to as the Putnam Trail.
Yonkers Fire Department headquarters from 1927 to 2015
The historic Croton Aqueduct tunnel has a hard-packed dirt trail, called the Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway, running above it for most of its length in Yonkers, with a few on-street routes on the edge of the Getty Square neighborhood.
The city of Yonkers is protected by 459 firefighters of the city of Yonkers Fire Department (YFD), under the command of a Fire Commissioner and 3 Deputy Chiefs. Founded in 1896, the YFD operates out of 11 Fire Stations, located throughout the city in 2 Battalions, under the command of 1 Assistant Chief each shift. The Yonkers Fire Department operates a fire apparatus fleet of 10 Engine Companies, 6 Ladder Companies, 1 Squad (rescue-pumper) Company, 1 Rescue Company, 1 Fireboat, 1 Air Cascade Unit, 1 USAR (Urban Search And Rescue) Collapse Unit, 1 Foam Unit, 1 Haz-Mat Unit, and numerous special, support, and reserve units. The YFD responds to approximately 16,000 emergency calls annually.
According to Yonkers's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the principal employers in the city are;
# Employer # of Employees
1 Yonkers Raceway 1,195
2 Montefiore IT 735
3 Liberty Lines Transit 692
4 Leake and Watts Services 615
5 POP Displays USA 538
6 Stew Leonard's 519
7 Consumers Union 518
8 Kawasaki Rail 415
9 American Sugar Refining 331
10 FedEx 290
11 Mindspark Interactive Network 150
Main article: List of people from Yonkers, New York
Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University
John Howard Northrop (1891-1987), co-recipient of 1946 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Charles Proteus Steinmetz, German-American mathematician and electrical engineer
Elisha Otis, inventor of the safety elevator and Otis Elevator Company
Alexander Smith, founder of Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company
Linda Lovelace (Linda Susan Boreman)
Carlos Alazraqui (born 1962), actor, stand-up comedian and impressionist
Joseph Alfidi (1949-2015), classical pianist
Amanda Ayala, singer and musician
Edwin Howard Armstrong (1890-1954), transmitted first FM radio broadcast
Charlie Benante (born 1962), musician best known as the drummer for thrash metal band Anthrax, as well as crossover thrashband Stormtroopers of Death.
Mary J. Blige (born 1971), R&B singer
Sid Caesar, actor and comedian
Cathy DeBuono, actress, psychotherapist, radio personality
DMX, rapper, actor
Klement Tinaj, actor
Ella Fitzgerald, singer
Thomas Mikal Ford, actor
Frances Foster, actress
Michael Fox (1921-1996), character actor who played Saul Feinberg on the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful.
Joe Howard, actor
Immolation, Death metal band
Jadakiss, rapper, member of The LOX
Ekrem Jevri?, Montenegrin singer, rapper
Gene Krupa (1909-1973), drummer
Clayton LeBouef (born 1954), actor
Stagga Lee (born 1977), musician
W.C. Handy, composer and musician
Sheek Louch (born 1976), rapper, member of The LOX
Linda Lovelace (1949-2002), star of 1972 "porno chic" film Deep Throat
Richard Masur (born 1948), actor
Joe Minoso, actor
Lawrence Monoson (born 1964), actor
Cathy Moriarty (born 1960), actress who appeared in Raging Bull.
Outasight, singer, rapper
Erik Palladino, actor
Kevin Puts, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
Will Rahmer, musician
Adam Rodriguez, actor
Robert Shayne, actor
Avery Storm, R&B singer
Styles P, Rapper, member of The LOX
Chip Taylor, songwriter (brother of Jon Voight)
Paul Teutul Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers and reality television personality on American Chopper
Steven Tyler, musician, member of Aerosmith
Jon Voight, Oscar-winning actor, father of Angelina Jolie
Tom Wolk, Hall & Oates session musician
Joseph Stilwell, U.S. Army General during World War I and World War II
David Berkowitz (born 1953), serial killer known as the Son of Sam
Michael Burns (born 1947), actor, historian and horse breeder, reared in Yonkers from 1949 to 1956
James Comey, director of the FBI
Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr., photographer
Ron Garan, astronaut
Lewis Hine, photographer
Ethel D. Jacobs, thoroughbred racehorse owner
Henrietta Wells Livermore (1864-1933), women's suffragist leader
Michaela Odone (c. 1930–1992, n?e Murphy), mother of Lorenzo Odone, for whom Lorenzo's oil is named.
Sally Regenhard, community activist
Joe Ruback, license plate guy
Barbara Segal, Artist and stone carver
Betty Shabazz, widow of civil rights leader Malcolm X
Adriaen Cornelissen van der Donck, (c. 1618, 1655)
Samuel Untermyer, Prominent lawyer and civic leader known for bequeathing his Yonkers, New York estate, now known as Untermyer Park and Gardens, to the people of Yonkers.
William F. Bleakley (1883-1969), attorney, judge and politician who was the first Westchester County Executive.
Alfred DelBello, Mayor of Yonkers
Mike Spano, Mayor of Yonkers
Samuel J. Tilden, former Governor of New York and winner of the popular vote in the disputed Presidential Election of 1876
Nick Wasicsko, mayor during low-income housing controversy, 1988–1989; John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award runner-up
Malcolm Wilson, former Governor of New York
James Blake (born 1979), tennis player
Billy Burch (1900-1950), professional hockey player who was the first American-born player to win the Hart Trophy
Dave Costa, NFL player, Saunders HS 1957–1959
Doug DeWitt, professional boxer
Tommy Dreamer, professional wrestler
Ralph Goldstein (1913–1997), Olympic ?p?e fencer
Nealon Greene, professional football player (CFL)
Sean Kilpatrick, professional basketball player
Eddie Kingston, professional wrestler
Allan Kwartler (1917–1998), sabre and foil fencer, Pan American Games and Maccabiah Games champion
Joe Lapchick (1900-1970), basketball coach.
Ryan Meara (born 1990), professional soccer player
Joe Panik, professional baseball player
Floyd Patterson, champion heavyweight boxer
Eulace Peacock, track and field athlete who defeated Jesse Owens in sprints
Vincent Richards, professional tennis player
Steve Ridzik, professional baseball player
Brian Sweeney, professional baseball player
Salvatore Tripoli, Olympic boxer
George Wright, baseball pioneer
Mike Breen (born 1961), sports broadcaster
Mary Calvi, news anchor
Robert Celestino, writer and director
Tiziano Thomas Dossena, writer, editor
Tawny Godin, Miss America 1976, TV journalist (Tawny Little)
Patrick Quinlan, author, activist
Elsie B. Washington, author
In popular culture
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In the 1925 popular song "If You Knew Susie", the narrator drives his girlfriend Susie to Yonkers from which he had to walk home.
In the Depression-era film Don't Tell the Wife (1937) Guy Kibbee's character, Malcolm J. Winthrop, lives in Yonkers. One of the characters jokes that going to jail is "better than Yonkers."
In the Twilight Zone episode, "What's in the Box" (1964) William Demarest's character, cab driver Joe Britt, mentions Yonkers as one of his customers' locations as a reason for coming home late from work.
Yonkers is the setting of two feature films by local filmmaker Robert Celestino: Mr. Vincent, a 1997 Sundance Film entrant in the non-competition Spectrum section, and Yonkers Joe, a scheduled 2009 release by Magnolia Pictures, starring Chazz Palminteri and Christine Lahti. Yonkers's locations also provide the setting for A Tale of Two Pizzas, a "Romeo and Juliet" theme played out among two rival pizza owners.
The documentary Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story described racial discrimination and housing segregation in Yonkers.
Ask a Greek (1998)
The film Doubt, starring Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius Beauvier, filmed scenes at St. Marks Lutheran Church's school.
Yonkers is also the location for many major filming projects: Catch Me if You Can, with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet; Mona Lisa Smile, with Julia Roberts; A Beautiful Mind, with Russell Crowe, Big Daddy, with Adam Sandler, The Preacher's Wife (a remake of The Bishop's Wife), with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston; and Kate and Leopold, with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman. Some TV series' episodes of Fringe, The Blacklist, and The Following were taped in the downtown area. the City Hall Courtroom is also the setting for many film scenes and commercials.
Yonkers was also used as a filming location in the movie Riding in Cars with Boys.
In Max Brooks's novel, World War Z, the US armed forces are defeated in the Battle of Yonkers by a horde of zombies.
Yonkers is one of the settings in the musical Hello Dolly!
A character in the musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable is named after Yonkers.
Neil Simon's play Lost In Yonkers, set in the city. The story is about two young boys during World War II, whose father leaves them with their grandmother in Yonkers so he can earn money for the family.
Yonkers was shown on A Shot at Love 2 with Tila Tequila as it was contestant Kristy's hometown.
In 2011, rapper Tyler, The Creator of Odd Future released his song "Yonkers," named after the city.
On October 21, 2011, filming for the movie Disconnect (2012) took place at the Cross County Shopping Center.
The HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero takes place, and was filmed, in Yonkers.
Showtime series “Billions” mentions Yonkers, the show’s main character grew up there. There is a scene at Yonkers Raceway in one episode. They also mention an unnamed pizzeria in Yonkers in another episode.
Yonkers Welcome Sign
Yonkers Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2010
Fountains at Westchester's Ridge Hill
The Yonkers Metro-North Station
The Saw Mill River in Getty Square
Westbound McLean Avenue at ParkHill Avenue
Eastbound Cross County Parkway
Twin towns and sister cities
Yonkers is twinned with:
Kam?z, Albania (2011–present)
Ternopil, Ukraine (1991–present)
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