Riverdale (population: 47,850, according to the 2000 U.S. Census) is an affluent, upper middle class, and wealthy residential neighborhood in the northwest portion of the Bronx in New York City. Riverdale contains the northernmost point in New York City.
Early in its residential development, Riverdale was a 19th-century estate district where many of Manhattan's moguls built their country estates. At the turn of the century, the new popularity of railroad commute enabled wealthy businessmen to make Riverdale their year-round residence. The Fieldston neighborhood, owned by a private association, is a particularly intact example of a turn-of-the century upper class suburb. The Hudson Hill neighborhood retains many of its historic mansions. Riverdale's elite private schools and historic churches also reflect this past.
As the 20th century progressed, upscale apartment buildings and smaller houses were added to the neighborhood. To this day, Riverdale continues to maintain its character as an affluent enclave in the city of New York. The rich history of Riverdale has led to the creation of the Riverdale Historic District.
Leland Weintraub, the commissioner who moved for the district's creation, noted that "most of the features commonly associated with the American romantic suburb of the mid-19th century," including "a picturesque site, landscaping and architecture; connection to the city by accessible transportation and a layout adapted to the topography" are present in the area.
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