Living in the Marble Hill neighborhood of Bronx

Apartments in Marble Hill, though politically part of Manhattan, are the only homes in the borough that actually, geographically, are on the mainland of North America, and NOT on the island. Why did this happen? How did this happen? The short answers: 1. Shipping efficiencies, and 2. Lots and lots of digging; lots and lots of filling in.


In 1895, Marble Hill was still located on the island of Manhattan, until the Army Corps of Engineers noticed that it would a lot faster (and, so, less expensive) for ships to get from the Hudson River to the Harlem River if they could cut through the base of the "thumbs-up"-like geographic outcropping of Manhattan known as Marble Hill. So they did just that, slicing off the "thumb", and then attaching it to the Bronx by filling in the northern waterway. This is why for the past 100 years or so, Marble Hill apartments have been located (physically) in the Bronx.


Apartments in the area have become something of an anomaly in much of the community, which is characterized by winding streets shaded by stately old trees and lined with elegant, free-standing, single-family homes, many built in the Victorian style. Much of this is due to the fact that they are bordered by 230th Street to the north (and the neighborhood of Kingsbridge), by the Major Deegan Expressway to the east (and Kingsbridge East), by the (rerouted) Harlem River to the south, and by Johnson Avenue to the west (and Spuyten Duvil). 

There are plenty of apartments to be had, however, mostly located to the west of Broadway, which functions both as the neighborhood's primary commercial strip—flanked with big-box chain stores, locally-owned service operations, casual family restaurants—as well as dividing line of sorts, between the twisty roads of "the Hill", with its elegant houses, and the Manhattan-style apartment buildings to the west.  The apartment buildings consist of both contemporary elevator buildings and pre-war walk-ups, and are where the majority of the Marble Hill's population actually lives.

So which is it?, Manhattan or the Bronx?  Technically (and legally), Marble Hill is still a part of Manhattan. Residents there vote in Manhattan elections, and it is part of New York County (which is Manhattan). In 1984 the New York Legislature passed legislation declaring the neighborhood to be a part of Manhattan.


However, residents receive their services (such as the fire department) from the Bronx. The Postal Service considers the zip code (10463) as the Bronx (Bronx zip codes start with 104, Manhattan zip codes start with 100, 101 or 102). Residents are given a 718 area code (reserved for the outer boroughs, not Manhattan). And, as we have established, it's now directly connected to the Bronx and the US mainland physically. From a practical standpoint, it's in The Bronx, which is where we at Urban Edge have chosen to locate it on our website.  However, residents of Marble Hill are often fanatical about staking their claim to being a resident of Manhattan. We wouldn't argue with them.


Residents of Marble Hill apartments, though they live on the mainland, enjoy convenient and relatively rapid commutes to Midtown, whether via the 1 train, with its Marble Hill / 225th Street station, or by Metro North Railroad's Hudson Line, with its neighborhood station. Residents are often found at the weekly farmer's market in Inwood, just across the river (walk across the Broadway Bridge if the weather is nice). Shopping at major chains such as Target is located right in Marble Hill.


As far as parks and green space, the community has easy access to the Inwood Hill Park. Inwood Hill Park is one of New York City's great under-used treasures, with its playing fields, playgrounds, and ball courts; its spectacular river views; and its densely-wooded areas, with paths for hiking, bird-watching, and exploring.  Also nearby is Fort Tryon Park, which has the Metropolitan Museum of Art's famous Cloisters. For sports fans, the Baker Athletic Complex of Columbia University is located just across the Broadway Bridge.  Here you will find Columbia's football stadium, along with many other athletic facilities.

Back to the top