Woodlawn, also known as Woodlawn Heights, is a predominantly Irish-American working class neighborhood at the very north end of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. It is bounded by McLean Avenue to the north (slightly north of New York City's border with the city of Yonkers in Westchester County), the Bronx River to the east, Woodlawn Cemetery to the south, and Van Cortlandt Park to the west.
A bus stop along Webster Avenue
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Bronx 12|
|• Total||0.62 km2 (0.240 sq mi)|
|• Density||68,000/km2 (180,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$52,510|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Katonah Avenue, which runs north-south through the heart of Woodlawn, is a popular destination for its many Irish pubs and restaurants, such as Behan's Pub, the Rambling House, the Lark's Nest, the Just One Saloon, the Avenue and the Kitchen. All offer traditional Irish breakfast or brunch at reasonable prices. In addition there is The Emerald Isle Immigration Center, an Italian bakery, Patrizia's Italian Restaurant, an Irish butcher shop, Irish and Albanian barber shops, and many other types of specialty shops.
McLean Avenue, which runs east-west, is the main shopping strip for both Woodlawn and the Yonkers neighborhood of McLean Heights. Its pubs and shops are considered to be some of the neighborhood's most notable fixtures, although technically it is within the city of Yonkers. McLean Avenue has many Irish pubs, a large variety of Irish and non-Irish restaurants and diners, two Irish gift shops, The Aisling Irish Community Center, an Irish Butcher Shop, and Italian pastry shop.
East 233rd Street is a major thoroughfare that runs east-west on the southern border of the neighborhood. It is largely known for its gas stations and Irish pubs, as well as for its bus routes and the Woodlawn station of the Metro-North Railroad.
Notable features of the neighborhood include Oneida Triangle, a memorial to residents of Woodlawn who served in World War I, and Muskrat Cove, a paved path along the Bronx River. In 2004, the City of New York announced plans to construct a new pedestrian bridge connecting Muskrat Cove and Shoelace Park as part of the Bronx Greenway.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Woodlawn-Wakefield was 42,483, a decrease of 1,100 (2.5%) from the 43,583 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 901.76 acres (364.93 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 47.1 inhabitants per acre (30,100/sq mi; 11,600/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 17.6% (7,473) White, 58.3% (24,774) African American, 0.4% (169) Native American, 3.4% (1,465) Asian, 0.0% (20) Pacific Islander, 2.0% (855) from other races, and 2.0% (866) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.1% (6,861) of the population.
This formerly German neighborhood is now a mostly Irish American neighborhood, which also has a small but recognizable Italian-American community. This neighborhood remains one of the few communities to which young and newly arrived Irish immigrants regularly arrive en masse. The Emerald Isle Immigration Center on Katonah Avenue and the Aisling Irish Community Center on McLean Avenue are two sources for the newly arrived as well as established Irish immigrants to Woodlawn and the United States. The neighborhood is sometimes informally referred to as "Little Ireland". As of May 2016, Woodlawn was rezoned to prevent the destruction of single-family homes that currently give this neighborhood its intrinsic character. The rezoning will provide a framework for orderly growth while protecting the neighborhood’s established residential character.
The entirety of Community District 12, which comprises Williamsbridge, Woodlawn, Baychester, and Eastchester, had 156,542 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 81.0 years.:2, 20 This is about the same as the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) 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.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 12 was $48,018. In 2018, an estimated 22% of Woodlawn 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 Woodlawn and Williamsbridge, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Woodlawn and Williamsbridge are considered high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Police and crimeEdit
Woodlawn and Williamsbridge are patrolled by the 47th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 4111 Laconia Avenue. The 47th Precinct ranked 35th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 82 per 100,000 people, Woodlawn and Williamsbridge's rate of violent crimes per capita is more than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 577 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 47th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 70.0% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 5 murders, 44 rapes, 337 robberies, 726 felony assaults, 294 burglaries, 520 grand larcenies, and 205 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm and teenage births are more common in Woodlawn and Williamsbridge than in other places citywide. In Woodlawn and Williamsbridge, there were 102 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 24 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Woodlawn and Williamsbridge has a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 8%, lower than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Woodlawn and Williamsbridge is 0.0075 milligrams per cubic metre (7.5×10−9 oz/cu ft), the same as the city average.:9 Eleven percent of Woodlawn and Williamsbridge residents are smokers, which is lower than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Woodlawn and Williamsbridge, 30% of residents are obese, 14% are diabetic, and 39% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 24% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-eight percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is about the same as the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 78% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," equal to the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Woodlawn and Williamsbridge, there are 8 bodegas.:10
The nearest large hospitals are Montefiore Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital, both located in Norwood. In addition, Montefiore Medical Center's Wakefield Campus is located in Williamsbridge.
Post office and ZIP codeEdit
Woodlawn and Williamsbridge generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. 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.:6 The percentage of Woodlawn 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.
Woodlawn and Williamsbridge's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is slightly higher than the rest of New York City. In Woodlawn and Williamsbridge, 29% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 70% of high school students in Woodlawn and Williamsbridge graduate on time, about the same as the citywide average of 75%.:6
The St. Barnabas parish runs St. Barnabas Elementary School, which opened in 1914 (whose principal is currently Miranda Marques). St. Barnabas High School, an all-girls school which opened in 1928 is run by principal Theresa Napoli. The high school has since been independent from the parish as of September 2015. In addition to the aforementioned St. Barnabas parish schools, the neighborhood is served by Judith K. Weiss School P.S. 19.
The New York Public Library (NYPL)'s Woodlawn Heights branch is located at 4355 Katonah Avenue. The branch opened in 1931 and moved to its current one-story, 2,500-square-foot (230 m2) location in 1969. The Woodlawn Heights branch contains an extensive collection of Irish books.
Community and civic organizationsEdit
Woodlawn has numerous community and civic organizations. Many of these groups have regular meetings that are open for neighborhood residents to attend.
- Woodlawn Taxpayers and Community Association, Inc. typically meets the second Monday of each month at 7:30pm at St. Barnabas Elementary School, 413 East 241st Street, Bronx, NY 10470. The association charges a $15 annual membership fee and spends the year advocating for the community and keeping them informed through meetings and a monthly newsletter. This newsletter usually includes announcements of most of the upcoming meetings of the other groups and organizations mentioned below.
- Bronx Community Board 12 typically meets the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:30pm at the Town Hall, 4101 White Plains Road, Bronx, New York 10466.
- 47th Precinct Community Council typically meets on the second Wednesday of each month (other than July and August) at various locations throughout the precinct.
- Women of Woodlawn typically meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm at the Rambling House at 4292 Katonah Ave, Bronx, NY 10470.
- The Woodlawn Library Support Group typically meets on the third Saturday of each month at the Woodlawn Heights branch of the New York Public Library located at 4355 Katonah Ave, Bronx, NY 10470.
- The Emerald Isle Immigration Center assists residents with topics related to "immigrant life and law."
- The Aisling Irish Community Center exists to "assist Irish immigrants in transition to life in the USA." The center hosts many programs for Woodlawn and McClean Heights citizens including exercise classes, activities for children, and volunteer outreach for the community.
Places of worshipEdit
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The neighborhood has several old and picturesque churches.
Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church is on Martha Avenue.
The Roman Catholic church of St. Barnabas is the largest church in Woodlawn and part of St. Barnabas parish. The parish is managed by Reverend Brendan A. Fitzgerald. The parish has weekly masses in English and Italian and some seasonal holiday masses in Gaelic. St. Barnabas Parish, founded in 1910, serves as a major community center for the neighborhood, which is nearly entirely Catholic, and a center of Irish culture, offering Irish language classes and an Irish Outreach program to assist Irish immigrants in finding jobs and residence in the neighborhood. In addition to the church, the parish runs an adjoining convent (currently occupied by the large and growing community of the Sisters of Life) and St. Barnabas Elementary School.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is on 238th Street.
Trinity Community Full Gospel Church is on 241st Street.
Woodlawn is served by the Bx16, Bx31, Bx34 and BxM4 buses operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations; by the Woodlawn station on the New York City Subway's 4 train; and by the Woodlawn station on the Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
- "Woodlawn neighborhood in New York". Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- "Woodlawn ranked among best family neighborhoods". News 12 The Bronx. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- Cooper, Rebecca (March 14, 2003). "Neighborhoods: Close-Up on Woodlawn". Village Voice. Archived from the original on June 20, 2006.
- "Katonah Avenue". BridgeandTunnelClub.com. Photographs of Katonah Avenue
- "If You're Thinking of Living In Woodlawn; A Bronx Enclave With a Suburban Feel". New York Times. February 16, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- "Historical Signs: Oneida Triangle". nycgovparks.org.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- "Woodlawn awaits return of hundreds of Irish students seeking 'a little Ireland'". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- Kugel, Seth (March 17, 2002). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: WOODLAWN; There's the Irish Bar, and Then There's the Irish Bar". New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- Goodstein, Steven (May 14, 2016). "Woodlawn's true identify protected with rezoning". Bronx Times Reporter. New York. p. 1. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- "Williamsbridge and Baychester (Including Baychester, Eastchester, Edenwald, Olinville, Wakefield, Williamsbridge and Woodlawn)" (PDF). nyc.gov. NYC Health. 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "2016-2018 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan: Take Care New York 2020" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "New Yorkers are living longer, happier and healthier lives". New York Post. June 4, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "NYC-Bronx Community District 12--Wakefield, Williamsbridge & Woodlawn PUMA, NY". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- "NYPD – 47th Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "Eastchester: Wakefield, Williamsbridge, Woodlawn – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "47th Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "Engine Company 36/Ladder Company 39/Battalion 15". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Bronx, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Wakefield-Williamsbridge, New York City-Bronx, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Location Details: Woodlawn". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Williamsbridge / Baychester – BX 12" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- St. Barnabas Elementary School
- DosSantos, Juliann (April 30, 2015). "St. Barnabas High School to Become Independent". Catholic New York. New York. p. 12. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "PS 19". www.ps19.us. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "About the Woodlawn Heights Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Woodlawn Taxpayers Association". www.woodlawntaxpayers.com. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "BRONX MALL - Bronx Community Board 12". www.bronxmall.com. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Calendar - 47th Precinct Community Council - Bronx, NY 10466". www.neighborhoodlink.com.
- Women of Woodlawn
- Rambling House
- "Emerald Isle Immigration Center | The Emerald Isle Immigration Center's highly qualified staff assists clients in many aspects of immigrant life and law. The EIIC prides itself on the extraordinary services it provides". eiic.org. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Welcome to Aisling Irish Community Center". www.aislingcenter.org. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Bronx Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 1, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "Harlem Line". Station Reporter.
- "The Bronx: Woodlawn". NewYorkPhotography in WayBack Machine. Photographs of Woodlawn.