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Scarsdale, New York
—  Village & Town  —

Location of Scarsdale, New York
Coordinates: 40°59′32″N 73°47′13″W / 40.99222, -73.78694Coordinates: 40°59′32″N 73°47′13″W / 40.99222, -73.78694
Country United States
State New York
County Westchester
Settled March 21, 1701
Incorporated (town) March 7, 1788
Incorporated (village) May 24, 1915
 • Village Manager Alfred A. Gatta
 • Total 6.6 sq mi (17.2 km2)
 • Land 6.6 sq mi (17.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 217 ft (66 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 17,166
 • Density 2,600/sq mi (1,000/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 10583-4409
Area code(s) 914
FIPS code 36-65431
GNIS feature 0977410

Scarsdale is a town and village in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the northern suburbs of New York City. The Town of Scarsdale is coextensive with the Village of Scarsdale, but the community has opted to operate solely with a village government, one of several villages in the state that have a similar governmental situation.[1] As of the 2010 census, Scarsdale's population was 17,166.[2]


Colonial era[]

Caleb Heathcote purchased the land that would become Scarsdale at the end of the 17th century and, on March 21, 1701, had them elevated to a royal manor. He named the lands after his ancestral home in Derbyshire, England. The first local census of 1712 counted twelve inhabitants, including seven African slaves. When Caleb died in 1721, his daughters inherited the property. The estate was broken up in 1774, and the town was officially founded on March 7, 1788.

The town saw fighting during the American Revolution when the Continental and British armies clashed briefly at what is now the junction of Garden Road and Mamaroneck Road. The British commander, Sir William Howe, lodged at a farmhouse on Garden Road that remains standing. Scarsdale's wartime history formed the basis for James Fenimore Cooper's novel, The Spy, written while the author lived at the Angevine Farm in the present-day Heathcote section of town.[3]


According to the first federal census in 1790, the town's population was 281. By 1840, that number had declined to 255—the vast majority farmers and farm workers. In 1846, the New York and Harlem Railroad connected Scarsdale to New York City, leading to an influx of commuters.

Scarsdale Woman's Club - Historic Oak Tree (September 2012)

The Arthur Suburban Home Company purchased a 150-acre (0.61 km2) farm in 1891 and converted it into a subdevelopment of one-family dwellings, starting a transformation of the community from rural to suburban. Civil institutions soon appeared: the Heathcote Association (1904), the Town Club (1904), the Scarsdale Woman's Club (1918) and the Scarsdale League of Women Voters (1921). Scarsdale High School and Greenacres Elementary School were built in 1912, and the Edgewood Elementary School opened in 1918. The first store in Scarsdale opened on the corner of Popham Road and Garth Road in 1912. By 1915, the population approached 3000. By 1930, that number approached 10,000.

In 1940, German agent Gerhardt Alois Westrick secretly met with American business leaders at his Scarsdale home until public pressure - a reaction to articles in the New York Herald Tribune produced by British Security Coordination in New York[4] - drove his family from the community.[5][6] He was subsequently deported for pursuing activities unfriendly to the United States.


Harwood Court

Scarsdale became the subject of national controversy in the 1950s when a "Committee of Ten" led by Otto Dohrenwend alleged "Communist infiltration" in the public schools.[7] A thorough investigation by the town rejected these claims. This same group, known at the Scarsdale Citizens Committee, sued to prevent a benefit for the Freedom Riders from taking place at the public high school in 1963 because some of the performers (Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Pete Seeger) were allegedly "communist sympathizers and subversives."[8]

Another controversy enveloped the town in 1961, when the Scarsdale Country Club, headed by Charles S. McCallister, refused to allow a young man who had converted from Judaism into the Episcopal Church to escort a young woman to her debut at the club. It was the club's policy, at the time, to prohibit Jews from the premises.[9] In response, the Rev. George French Kempsell of the Church of Saint James the Less announced that he would ban any supporters of the club's decision from receiving holy communion.[9] The event marked a turning point toward the decline of anti-Semitism in the town.[9]

Scarsdale's public library, which had been housed in historic Wayside Cottage since 1928, moved to its present structure on the White Plains Post Road in 1951.[10] The driving force behind the library was New York City publisher S. Spencer Scott, who raised $100,000 for the project after the village rejected a bond issue to fund the building in 1938. The new library opened with 27,000 books and Sylvia C. Hilton serving as the first librarian.[10]

The last of the town's five elementary schools, Heathcote School, opened in September 1953. The $1,000,000 architectural landmark was designed by Perkins & Will of Chicago. Walter B. Cocking, the president of the New York State Committee for the Public Schools, delivered the dedication address.[11]

Historic oak tree on grounds of Scarsdale Woman's Club (September 2012)

In 1967, U.S. Secretary of State and former longtime resident Dean Rusk returned to Scarsdale at the height of the Vietnam War to receive the town's Man of the Year Award and was greeted with a silent protest.[12]

Scarsdale was the subject of a landmark United States Supreme Court decision, ACLU v. Scarsdale (1985), that established the so-called "reindeer rule" regarding public nativity scenes and upheld the right of local religious groups to place crèches on public property.

The Caleb Hyatt House, Scarsdale Railroad Station, Scarsdale Woman's Club, United States Post Office, and Wayside Cottage are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13]


The first official historian of the Village of Scarsdale was Richard Lederer. Lederer died in 1993 and was succeeded by Irving J. Sloan.[14] Following Sloan's death in 2008,[15] Eric Rothschild assumed the position of village historian.

Geography and climate[]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17 km2), of which 0.15% is water. It is located approximately 25 miles from midtown Manhattan, which may be reached by Metro-North Railroad express train in approximately 30 minutes. Scarsdale has a Humid Continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa).


As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 17,823 people, 5,662 households, and 4,993 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,685.7 people per square mile (1,036.4/km²). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 873.2 per square mile (337.0/km²).

According to the 2000 Census, the race distribution of Scarsdale was: White (non Hispanic) 84.1%, Asian 12.6%, African-American 1.5%, Hispanic or Latino 2.6%.

There were 5,662 households out of which 51.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 81.8% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 10.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.14 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the village the age distribution of the population shows 32.8% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $182,792, and the median income for a family was $291,542. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $62,319 for females. The per capita income for the village was $89,907. That ranks as the 59th highest income in the country and second most for towns with a population of over 10,000. About 1.7% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over. Known as an affluent suburb of New York City, Scarsdale has regularly placed high in various wealth rankings. In 2013 it was ranked first in CNN Money's list of "top earning towns" with a median family income close to $300,000.[20]

Ethnic groups[]

As of 2000 Scarsdale was a favorite location for Japanese expatriates working in the US. According to Lisa W. Foderaro of The New York Times it was well known in Japan as a place with good housing stock and schools.[21]

Scarsdale is also home to a large and active Jewish population.[22][23]


Scarsdale High School from the Brewster Road side

Students at Scarsdale's Our Lady of Fatima School march in the Yonkers Saint Patrick's Day Parade

The Scarsdale Union Free School District operates five elementary schools in the elementary school districts Edgewood, Fox Meadow, Greenacres, Heathcote and Quaker Ridge made up of parts of the neighborhood associations above, as well as Scarsdale Middle School and Scarsdale High School.

Within Scarsdale also exists Edgemont Union Free School District. The EUFSD consists of two elementary schools, Greenville and Seely Place, and one 7-12 high school, Edgemont Jr. Sr High School. The EUFSD does not have its own middle school, rather the middle school grades 7-8 are combined with the high school grades of 9-12.


The library is one of 38 public libraries in the Westchester Library System. The 25,000 square foot library building houses a collection of over 147,000 books and audiovisual materials. Approximately 397,084 items are checked out of the library each year.[24]

Fire Department[]

Full-time fire and rescue protection is provided by the 47 paid, professional firefighters and the 95 volunteer firefighters of the Scarsdale Fire Department. Paid employees of the department include the Chief of Department, seven lieutenants, and a fire inspector. Volunteer firefighters make up the SFD's three volunteer fire companies. The department currently operates out of 3 fire stations and operates a fire apparatus fleet of 4 engines (1 in reserve), 2 ladders (1 in reserve), and 1 utility unit. The combined paid and volunteer firefighters of the SFD responded to nearly 1,400 emergency calls in 2013.[25]

Scarsdale post office and postal zone[]

The Village of Scarsdale's ZIP code is 10583. The central post office is located on Chase Road, in a building which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[26]

10583 also covers the areas below, for a total population coverage of twice the village itself. These communities are served by two additional post offices. In addition, the city of New Rochelle is the site of a post office, also assigned zip code 10583. This post office is located in the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center on Wilmot Road and serves those areas in New Rochelle's "Northend".


  • Garth Road
  • Green Knolls
  • Greenvale
  • North End

Edgemont (Town of Greenburgh)

Town of Mamaroneck

  • Murdock Woods

New Rochelle

  • Bloomingdale Estates
  • Dorchester Hills
  • Quaker Ridge
  • Scarsdale Downs
  • Scarsdale Park
  • Stratton Hills
  • Wilmot
  • Wilmot Woods


  • Beech Hill


The Scarsdale Town Pool was the swimming venue for the 2007 Empire State Games. Scarsdale is home to the Scarsdale Concours d'Elegance, an annual auto show for charity, as well as the Southern Westchester Food and Wine Festival.

Local media[]

The Scarsdale Inquirer, a weekly newspaper, reports on local issues. The newspaper began publishing in 1901.[27] Scarsdale is served by three PEG (Public, Educational, Government) cable television stations: Scarsdale Public Television (SPTV) on channels 42 and 76, Scarsdale Government Television on channels 43 and 75 and Scarsdale Public Schools (SPS) TV on channels 27 and 77.

Notable people[]

In popular culture[]

  • Bugsy - Barry Levinson's 1991 Oscar-winning film features Warren Beatty as gangster Benjamin Siegel, who lived in Scarsdale during the 1940s. The film opens at Siegel's house in Scarsdale (actually filmed in Hancock Park, Los Angeles), and Scarsdale is mentioned numerous times throughout the film. The movie's co-producer Charles Newirth grew up in Scarsdale.
  • RENT - The protagonist Mark mentions he is from Scarsdale which his mother also alludes to in a voicemail. This is mentioned in the songs, "Tango:Maureen" and "Voice Mail #3".
  • Down to Earth - Mr. Wellington's butler, Cisco (played by Mark Addy) at first claims he's from England and speaks with a British accent; however, Lance (Chris Rock), possessing Wellington's body, sees through the disguise when Cisco is watching a football game. He then confesses he's really from Scarsdale and speaks with a New York accent
  • Pillow Talk - Doris Day's interior decorating character in this 1959 romantic comedy chides a client reviewing wares in her shop that, "A fertility goddess is the last thing you need in Scarsdale."
  • Johnny Cool - Elizabeth Montgomery's character in this dark 1963 crime film is from Scarsdale.
  • Seconds - John Frankenheimer's 1966 film, starring Rock Hudson, opens with the central character taking a Metro North train to Scarsdale, where he lives with his wife.
  • Hell High - B-grade horror film from 1989; Scarsdale High School was used as a filming location.
  • Seinfeld - Kramer is accidentally rewarded with a Tony Award for the fictional musical "Scarsdale Surprise", supposedly based on the Scarsdale Diet doctor murder.[28]
  • Entourage - Billy Walsh admits to being from Scarsdale instead of Queens
  • Taxi - Tony Danza's character, Tony Banta, attempts to adopt a young boy from a wealthy foster family in Scarsdale in several episodes.
  • Fringe - Plane Crashes in Scarsdale in the beginning of episode "The Transformation". Dan Robins, one of the writers of the show, lives in Scarsdale. Original air date: February 3, 2009
  • Jacob M. Appel's "Scouting for the Reaper" is set in Scarsdale.[29]
  • The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper was set in a house in Scarsdale[30]
  • "The Broom of the System" by David Foster Wallace, sets much of Rick Vigorous' and Mindy Metalman's backgrounds in Scarsdale[31]
  • Guys and Dolls - In the song "I'll Know" a "Scarsdale Gallahad" is referenced.
  • Friends - Ross (David Schwimmer) envisions moving to Scarsdale after he and Rachel marry and have two children (Season 2)
  • Friends - Monica and Chandler move to Scarsdale with their two new babies. (Season 10 finale)
  • "The Daily Show" - While in a segment about standardized testing previous to the SAT and gave an example of an a fake analogy question, accused of being culturally biased, reading: Scarsdale : Westchester county:: with the answer being ask your butler.
  • The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet - Popular diet book written by Scarsdale physician Herman Tarnower.
  • Kissing Jessica Stein - The title character is from Scarsdale. Several scenes take place at her parents' house there.
  • Goodbye Columbus - The tennis playing scene was filmed at Scarsdale High School and the necking scene was filmed at the Duck Pond in Scarsdale.
  • The town is mentioned in the lyrics of the Steely Dan song Hey Nineteen.
  • The town is mentioned in the lyrics of the Leonard Bernstein operetta Trouble in Tahiti.[32]

See also[]

  • French-American School of New York
  • Greenville, Westchester County, New York


  1. ^ See: description of town in N.Y. State
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Scarsdale town, Westchester County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ "History of Scarsdale". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  4. ^ The Secret History of British intelligence in the Americas, 1940-1945 p56-57
  5. ^ Germand Forced to Give Up His Scarsdale Home, The Evening Standard, August 3, 1940
  6. ^ WESTRICK TO QUIT HOME IN SCARSDALE; Nazi Agent, Under Investigation for Car License Application, Drives 'Perfectly' in Test, The New York Times, August 3, 1940
  7. ^ SCARSDALE HEARS RED CHARGE AGAIN; School Head Tells Citizens' Group Choice Is Among Bare, Rich or Dictated Programs, The New York Times, April 8, 1952
  8. ^ O'Connor, Carol A. A Sort of Utopia, Scarsdale: 1891-1981, published 1983
  9. ^ a b c Scarsdale Parish Rector Limits Communion Over Anti-Semitism by John W. Stevens, The New York Times, Jan. 13, 1961
  10. ^ a b Folsom, Merril. Scarsdale Opens Its New Library. The New York Times Oct. 2, 1951
  11. ^ Education Notes, New York Times, May 23, 1954
  12. ^ "Rusk Runs Into Peace Vigil in Scarsdale", The Norwalk Hour, March 8, 1967
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  14. ^ "Richard Lederer, 76, Scarsdale's Historian". 3 February 1993. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  15. ^ JournalNews:Longtime Scarsdale teacher remembered for influence on generations
  16. ^ "Historical Weather for Scarsdale, New York, United States of America - Travel, Vacation and Reference Information". Canty and Associates LLC. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  17. ^ "Scarsdale Westchester County New York average temperature, sunshine and precipitation data". Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  18. ^ "Monthly Averages for Scarsdale, NY (10583)". The Weather Channel. November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  20. ^ Top-earning towns - Scarsdale, NY (1) - Money Magazine
  21. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. "For Expatriate Families, A Home Away From Home; Foreign Enclaves Dot the Landscape as County Attracts Temporary Residents." The New York Times. May 7, 2000. Retrieved on January 17, 2014.
  22. ^ Powell, Mike. "Scarsdale, N.Y., Real Estate Buying Guide". 
  23. ^ "Muslim Scholar, Looking to ‘Speak the Truth,’ Teaches the Holocaust and Islam". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Scarsdale Library » About Us". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Fire Department". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  26. ^ National Register of Historic Places listings in Westchester County, #88002428
  27. ^ "Library of Congress: Chronicling America: The Scarsdale Inquirer". Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  28. ^ "The Summer of George". Seinfeld Scripts. 1997-05-15. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  29. ^ Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2009
  30. ^ The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground - James Fenimore Cooper, James H. Pickering - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  31. ^ "Steve's Broom Of The System Index". Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  32. ^ "Bernstein Bound". 
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