Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||The Bronx 9|
|• Total||0.96 km2 (0.370 sq mi)|
|• Density||31,000/km2 (81,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$41,075|
10462, 10460, 10461
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Parkchester is a planned community originally developed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and located in the central Bronx, New York City. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise, are East Tremont Avenue to the north, Castle Hill Avenue to the east, Westchester Avenue to the south, East 177th Street/Cross Bronx Expressway to the southwest, and the Bronx River Parkway to the west. Metropolitan Avenue, Unionport Road, and White Plains Road are the primary thoroughfares through Parkchester.
The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9 and is mostly located within ZIP code 10462, with small sections in 10460 and 10461. The 6 and <6> trains of the New York City Subway operate along Westchester Avenue. The neighborhood is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 43rd Precinct. The privately owned housing complex is patrolled by Parkchester Department of Public Safety.]]
The housing development has the same origins as Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village, and Riverton Houses in Manhattan, which were also originally developed and owned by MetLife. The name was later unofficially applied to the entire neighborhood surrounding the apartment complex. The name "Parkchester" itself was derived from the two neighborhoods on each side of the site of the housing development — Park Versailles and Westchester Heights.
MetLife displayed an intricate scale model of the proposed development at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The model showed all of the buildings and facilities, and was accurate down to inclusion of each of the 66,000 windows in the complex. The 51 groups of buildings were planned to house 12,000 families.
The Parkchester residential development was originally designed and operated as a self-contained rental community for middle-class families new to home ownership. To that end, there is an abundance of worker- and family-oriented resources, including access to transportation, nearby schools and churches, retail shopping space, and proximity to a major medical center.
It was built from 1939 to 1942 (despite emergency building restrictions during World War II) on the farmland of the Catholic Protectory, a home for orphaned and troubled boys conducted by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, which relocated to Lincolndale (and still exists in) Westchester County. In 1974, approximately one-third of the complex was converted to condominiums, with the remaining portion, now Parkchester South Condominium converted later, in 1986. The complex is best known for its broad, tree-lined walkways between the distinctive red-brown buildings, and for its Works Progress Administration-style terracotta decorations on the buildings, that represent animal and human figures of many types. Many of these are the work of sculptor Joseph Kiselewski.
It was a welcome affordable haven for returning WWII vets and their burgeoning families in the early 1940s. While racially segregated, it peacefully housed people from all religious backgrounds.
In 2015 Parkchester celebrated its 75th anniversary with a family event on the Parkchester North Ball Field.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Parkchester was 29,821, an increase of 468 (1.6%) from the 29,353 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 210.76 acres (85.29 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 141.5 inhabitants per acre (90,600/sq mi; 35,000/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 42.8% (12,765) African American, 12.4% (3,721) Asian, 3.7% (1,105) Non-Hispanic White, 0.2% (73) Native American, 0.0% (11) Pacific Islander, 0.6% (171) from other races, and 2.0% (611) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 38.1% (11,364) of the population.
The Parkchester apartment complex includes a significant South Asian population: Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, including Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus. There are also a number of Italian, Polish, Irish, Eritrean and Albanian residents. The Asian residents include Thais, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Burmese, and Cambodians. Parkchester also is home to a large and longstanding population of Puerto Ricans, like Luis R. Sepulveda who represents the area in the New York State Assembly and has his office on Westchester Avenue. Parkchester has one of the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans in New York City, as is it situated between Soundview and Castle Hill, which are also notable for having a significantly denser Puerto Rican population in comparison to other parts of the Bronx or the city as a whole. While the population is approximately over 40% African American and 38% Latino, the complex once had a whites-only policy. The resident population of the Parkchester apartment complex reflects a broad age distribution and the changing ethnic makeup of the Bronx.
The entirety of Community District 9, which comprises Parkchester and Clason Point, had 184,105 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 79.7 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: 25% are between the ages of between 0–17, 29% between 25–44, and 24% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 12% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 9 was $40,005. In 2018, an estimated 26% of Parkchester and Clason Point 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 55% in Parkchester and Clason Point, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Parkchester and Clason Point are considered low-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Parkchester is composed of 171 four-sided brick buildings, either eight or 13 stories in height and numbered M (for Main) through 7 and M through 12, respectively. The 13 story buildings have dual elevators positioned side-by-side, the eight-story buildings have but one. Some buildings even have a Terrace level - apartments that are located on the ground floor and noted by the T in front of the apartment letter, i.e., TA, TB, etc. These apartments differ from all others in the community in that they have an additional screened door in the living room section of the apartment that leads out onto a concrete patio where tenants usually put patio/lawn furniture.
The surrounding area, commonly referred to as "Parkchester," is dominated by multi-unit private homes, as well as rental units in buildings unrelated to Parkchester. Retail locations are interspersed throughout the neighborhood as well as along Starling Avenue, McGraw Avenue, Metropolitan Avenue, Tremont Avenue, Unionport Road, and White Plains Road; the latter four streets are considered the backbones of the area.
Points of interest include:
There are two subsections of the neighborhood. Parkchester Apartment Complex is a subsection of Parkchester. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise, are East Tremont Avenue to the north, Castle Hill Avenue to the east, McGraw Avenue to the south, and White Plains Road to the west. The apartment complex has recently undergone gut renovations of many of their apartments. Additionally, Stratton Park is on the west part of Parkchester. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise, are the Amtrak Northeast Corridor to the west and north, White Plains Road to the east, and East 177th Street (the Cross-Bronx Expressway service road) to the south. Its zip code is 10460, and its residents consider themselves as part of Parkchester.
At the heart of Parkchester is the 2 acres (0.81 ha) Aileen B. Ryan Oval, formerly Metropolitan Oval.
Parkchester was designed with aesthetics in mind as evidenced by intricate patterns of brickwork. The development contains 500 terra cotta statuettes and 600 plaques such as bullfighters, animal figurines, soldiers, mermaids and Native American chiefs created by sculptor Joseph Kiselewski. They adorn the entrances and can also be seen high on the corners of the taller buildings. In the Aileen B. Ryan Oval, a fountain, named "Fantasia," created by sculptor Raymond Granville Barger, was installed in 1941 and is often the backdrop of photographs. A small collection photographs of the sculptures can be found in "Forgotten New York."
Parkchester and Clason Point are patrolled by the 43rd Precinct of the NYPD, located at 900 Fteley Avenue. The 43rd Precinct ranked 36th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 100 per 100,000 people, Parkchester and Clason Point's rate of violent crimes per capita is more than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 603 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 43rd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 79.6% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 14 murders, 45 rapes, 299 robberies, 589 felony assaults, 179 burglaries, 663 grand larcenies, and 151 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
The Parkchester Department of Public Safety protects the residents, visitors, and property of the Parkchester Housing condominiums.
Preterm and teenage births are more common in Parkchester and Clason Point than in other places citywide. In Parkchester and Clason Point, there were 106 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 26.4 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Parkchester and Clason Point has a relatively average population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 16%, higher than the citywide rate of 14%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Parkchester and Clason Point is 0.0076 milligrams per cubic metre (7.6×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Eighteen percent of Parkchester and Clason Point residents are smokers, which is higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Parkchester and Clason Point, 32% of residents are obese, 16% are diabetic, and 34% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 25% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-three percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 72% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," lower than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Parkchester and Clason Point, there are 13 bodegas.:10
The nearest hospital campuses are Montefiore Medical Center's Westchester Square and West Farms campuses, as well as Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center's Longwood campus. The nearest large hospital is NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in Morris Park.
Parkchester is located within multiple ZIP Codes. The housing development proper is part of 10462, but the areas to the immediate west are located in 10460, and the immediate east, in 10461. The United States Postal Service's Parkchester Station is located at 1449 West Avenue.
Parkchester and Clason Point generally have a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city. While 23% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 30% have less than a high school education and 47% 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 Parkchester and Clason Point students excelling in math rose from 23% in 2000 to 44% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 27% to 30% during the same time period.
Parkchester and Clason Point's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Parkchester and Clason Point, 28% 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, 69% of high school students in Parkchester and Clason Point graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.:6
The New York Public Library (NYPL)'s Parkchester branch is located at 1985 Westchester Avenue. The branch opened in 1942 within the Parkchester development and moved to its current two-story structure in 1985.
The following New York City Ferry stop serves Parkchester: Clason Point Ferry: to Soundview
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