Hartsdale & Geography
Hartsdale, is a hamlet inside the Town of Greenburgh that refers to a patchwork of neighborhoods centered along East and West Hartsdale Avenue, stretching from the Hartsdale Train Station to Dobbs Ferry Road, and south to north from the Edgemont School District line to White Plains.
Figure 1. Hartsdale CDP.
Figure 2. 10530 Zip Code.
Hartsdale is most associated today with the Metro North train station and the 10530 zip code that bear its name.
Historically, Hartsdale was identified with the Greenburgh No. 7 school district that merged in 1967 with the Greenburgh No. 8 school district to form the Greenburgh Central School District.
In its narrowest definition, Hartsdale is the name assigned by the US Census Bureau to a census designated place (CDP). Depending on the definition chosen, Hartsdale is as large as 12,600 residents (Hartsdale Fire District and the 10530 zip code) or as small as 6,000 (Hartsdale CDP). The main Hartsdale residential neighborhoods are Manor Woods, College Corners, Windsor Park, Ridge Road, Hartsdale Park, and parts of Poet’s Corner. Hartsdale also contains numerous apartments (mostly co-ops and condos) along East Hartsdale Ave. and several large complexes parallel to N. Central Ave.
History of Hartsdale
Hartsdale’s earliest settlers were the Wecquaesgeek. They lived along the east bank of the Hudson River in Westchester County and along the Bronx River to New York City. They fished in the local waterways using nets and rods. They used the upper portion of Manhattan as hunting grounds and today’s Broadway follows one of their original trails.
In the 1700’s, Hartsdale played a significant role during the American Revolutionary War. A Revolutionary War battle, the Battle of White Plains, was fought alongside the Bronx River, near the site of the current Hartsdale train station. The Odell House (on Ridge Road, built in 1732) served as the headquarters for the French general the Comte de Rochambeau. The house was later named after John Odell, Washington’s guide who bought the house in 1785. Today the house is in the process of being turned into a museum.
After the Revolutionary War, the area now known as Hartsdale was divided and sold to farming tenants, The intersection of Central Park Avenue and Hartsdale Avenue was named “Hart’s Corners” after Robert Hart, one of these farmers who successfully bid for the land, and in the mid-19th century the entire area became known as “Hartsdale”.
Hartsdale remained largely unchanged and a farm community until 1865, when Eleazar Hart deeded land for the development of the railroad line into Manhattan, setting the stage for Hartsdale’s change into a commuter village. The famous Hartsdale Train Station, listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2011, was built as part of this development. Between 1880 and 1940, large tracts of farmland and estates were subdivided and converted into private houses and apartments at a furious pace By the 1960s, there was almost no remaining farmland except for two working tracts of land along Secor Road, that still remain to this day.
In 1896, the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery was founded. The idea for a pet cemetery was first proposed by Emily Berthet, an accomplished equestrienne and modern-independent woman. She partnered with Dr. Samuel Johnson, a prominent veterinary surgeon and proprietor of the first state-of-the art hospital for animals in Manhattan. Emily’s hillside five acre Apple Orchard in the village of Hartsdale,, was the ideal location. Today Hartsdale Pet Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places and the oldest continuously operated pet cemetery in the world.
In 1904, Felix M. and Frieda Warburg purchased large tracts of land in Hartsdale and to build a 500-acre summer home in the Woodlands of Hartsdale. In 1958 Frieda Warburg, on her death, bequeathed 150 acres of her estate to the town of Greenburgh to build a public school., now known as the “Woodlands Campus.”
In 1932, Henry Jacques Gaisman, inventor and founder of the Gillette safety razor blade, purchased 136 acres and built an estate on Ridge Road. In 1957, he and his wife Catherine (Mrs. Henry J. Gaisman) sold the land to the New York Archdiocese. In 1999, the estate was saved from development when the Town of Greenburgh acquired the property and reopened it as the Hart’s Brook Nature Preserve. Part of the agreement included the preservation of some portion of the estate as a home for retired Catholic nuns.
In 1934, Tom Carveles, a Greek immigrant and traveling ice cream salesman, bought a plot of land on Central Avenue and in 1936 he opened the first Carvel ice cream shop. Sadly, the original store has since been demolished. To commemorate the birth of Carvel ice cream in Hartsdale, the Hartsdale Fire Company distributed Carvel “Flying Saucers” from Fire Station 1 after every Memorial Day parade.
Today, Hartsdale is know as one of the best places to live in Westchester largely for it’s friendly diversified community, tree lined neighborhoods, proximity to Manhattan and the several parks in it’s borders, including Secor Woods Park, Ridge Road Park, Rumbrook Park and Hart’s Brook Park & Preserve.
Hartsdale, Politics, and the Town of Greenburgh
Hartsdale lies entirely in the Town of Greenburgh. Greenburgh contains a little over 90,000 residents (2019 Census) and is governed by a Town Board (or council) consisting of 1 full-time Supervisor (serving 2 year terms) and 4 part-time council-members (serving 4 year terms, staggered). The supervisor and council members each have equal votes and are elected at-large. The Town Clerk is also elected town-wide. A list of current elected officials and appointed committee members can be found on the Greenburgh,Website.
The Town of Greenburgh
I. Incorporated Villages
About 50% of the residents of The Town of Greenburgh live in six incorporated villages:
- Irvington Village: 6,420
- Ardsley Village: 4,452
- Dobbs Ferry: 10,874
- Hastings Village: 7,849
- Tarrytown Village: 11,277
- Elmsford Village: 4,664
In addition to the Greenburgh Town Board, Villagers vote for their own mayors and trustees. Typical village residents pay about 2% of their annual property tax bill to the Town of Greenburgh, with the bulk going to their school district and villages as well as Westchester County. Village officials are powerful advocates for their constituents in village-town issues.
II. Town Outside of Villages (“TOV”)
The remaining Greenburgh residents live in the unincorporated area, commonly referred to as the Town Outside Villages (TOV). TOV residents vote only for the Town Board. Typical TOV single family homeowners pay about 16%-22% of their annual property tax bill to the Town with the remainder going to school districts, fire departments and Westchester County. The main TOV areas are Hartsdale, Fairview, Edgemont, East Irvington, North Elmsford, and the Donald Park/Jackson Ave neighborhoods on the south end of the town. Within these areas are a number of distinct neighborhoods.
Within TOV, residents typically identify their location by their school district. Property values and taxes for similar houses will vary widely depending on the school district. The TOV population is divided generally as follows:
- Greenburgh Central SD: 22,000
- Edgemont SD: 7,450
- TOV in Ardsley SD: c. 5,000
- TOV in Elmsford SD: c. 3,000
- TOV in Valhalla SD & Pocantico Hills SD: 5,400
Greenburgh Central and Edgemont are entirely within TOV. More Ardsley School District residents (53%) live in TOV than live in Ardsley Village. Nearly 40% of the Elmsford School District lives in TOV outside Elmsford Village.
Hartsdale & Schools
As mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, Hartsdale is generally understood as the 10530 zip code which is mostly, but not exclusively, contained within the Greenburgh Central School District. 10530 also includes streets within the Edgemont and Ardsley School District. Depending on the definition used, Hartsdale contains from 30% to nearly 60% of the Greenburgh Central School District’s population.
Hartsdale & Taxes
Annual property taxes total in Hartsdale (Greenburgh Central School District) total about 3.2% of a home’s assessment value. Condo/co-op owners benefit from the Homestead exemption.
The typical single-family home owner property tax bill with Star Deduction is broken down as follows:
- Greenburgh Central School District: 46% of property tax bill
- Town of Greenburgh: 21%
- Hartsdale Fire Dept.: 18%
- Westchester County: 11%
- Various Others (e.g., sewer, refuse): 3%