Marble Hill History
The Broadway Bridge
at West 225th Street
5000 Years of
Marble Hill History
been a part of recorded history since the
period. Indian tribes however inhabited the area for more than 5000
that. Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch sailed into the
river that now bears his name , and briefly dropped anchor on
September 6, 1609, at what is today known as Spuyten Duyvil. An
altercation with Indians lead to several deaths including one of
Hudsons's officers. The "Half Moon" sailed further north up the
river and reached the point of present day Albany before turning
back and returning to Holland.
A plaque in Inwood Park
commerates the exact spot of the Dutch purchase of Manhattan Island
in 1624 by Peter Minuit, the Governor of the settlement called New
Netherlands at the southern tip of Manhattan.
On August 18, 1646 Governor
Willem Kieft, the
Dutch director-general of the
signed a land grant to Mattius Jansen van Keulan and Huyck Aertsen. This grant had
comprised the whole of the
petitioned the Harlem authorities to move his ferry from what is now the
East River and
125th Street to the
Spuyten Duyvil Creek
because the creek was shallow enough to wade across, thus evading paying
the toll. The ferry charter was granted in 1669.
Place was named for
a wool washer from
Holland, who came
to the area in 1636. He applied and received a land grant to live in Inwood
near 213th Street. Occasionally he had worked on the De La Montagne farm,
which was located in what is now the
section of Manhattan. Teunissen was killed in an Indian raid in 1655,
and his wife and child were held hostage until they were ransomed by the
Dutch authorities. The Dyckmans and The Nagles, who owned land in
Inwood, purchased the Teunissen property in 1677.
bridges connected Marble Hill with the mainland. These were the
Kings Bridge, constructed
in 1693 by
constructed in 1759 by
and Benjamin Palmer. The Kings Bridge was
built as a toll bridge under Royal Charter for
The Dyckman Bridge was constructed as a toll-free bridge for the farmers
who refused to pay the toll. Both bridges have been covered over with
landfill. At 210 West 230th Street on the southwest corner of Broadway
and 230th is a plaque designating the area as the site of the Kings Bridge.
Remains of the Dyckman Free Bridge are still located beneath the grounds of the
Marble Hill Houses.
of the local visiting spots during this period was a tavern operated by
the Dyckman family. They had a tavern called the Black Horse Inn, located
near McGown’s Pass in what is now Central Park. The Dyckmans sold the
Black Horse to finance a new operation on the west side of Broadway and
226th Street, across from what is now 5210 Broadway. It was situated to cater to the traffic from both bridges.
Stephen's Church is a well known Marble Hill landmark. One of its
pastors was Reverend
who served the church from 1946 to 1977. Dr. Tieck was well known as the
official Bronx County Historian, in which capacity he served from
1989 to 1996. Reverend Tieck authored several books on the Bronx, one of
which is called Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Spuyten Duyvil New York City,
A Historical Epitome of the Northwest Bronx, published in 1968.
was extended from 145th Street to 242nd Street and opened in 1906. The station stop for the IRT at Marble Hill is 225th Street.
Metro North has a
station in Marble Hill. The station was originally located on the east
side of Broadway but was renovated and relocated to the west side of
This sparked land speculation in the community,
and 6-story apartment houses were constructed. In the early 1950s urban
renewal came to the area. A complex was built bounded by Broadway,
Exterior Street and 225th Street and was called the
Marble Hill Houses.
This property was acquired by New York City on August 26, 1948 and
the houses were completed in 1952. Part of the acquisition became
Marble Hill Playground,
which is located on Marble Hill Avenue between 228th and 230th Streets.
John F. Kennedy High School
is located in Marble Hill and was opened in the 1970s. The River
Plaza shopping mall, located on 225th Street between Broadway and
Exterior Street and overlooking the Harlem River, is the commercial
center for Marble Hill. The mall includes a Target and Marshall’s which
opened July 25, 2004. An Applebee’s Restaurant and Starbucks
serve shoppers. A "strip mall" next to River Plaza houses a Radio
Shack, Planet Fitness Health Club, Sprint store, and Payless Shoe
Store. Nearby on Broadway is a McDonald's, Subway sandwich
shop, and Rite Aid.
Even though it is the mainland part of Manhattan,
Marble Hill still enjoys the privileges of the borough. Residents who
serve on jury duty are required to go to the distant courthouses at
Foley Square in
lower Manhattan. The residents enjoy the representation of the offices
of City Council District 10 Manhattan as well as the elected
officials of Manhattan and the Bronx. Bronx Community Board 8
oversees the day-to-day operations of Marble Hill.