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The History of The Bronx

As one of the five boroughs making up New York City, the Bronx is the northernmost borough and the only one located on mainland United States. The Bronx is connected to both Manhattan and Queens via numerous bridges, both over water and under water. As of 2014, the Bronx was recorded as having a population of 1,438,159, making it the borough with the fourth largest population. The Bronx is the third most populated county in the entire country, yet a quarter of its 42 square miles of land is open space.

The History of the Bronx

Before any European settlers established a colony in the Bronx area, it was inhabited by the native Lenape, who were displaced by settlers in 1643. The Bronx was named after the Swedish settler Jonas Bronck, the first European settler within the area. He leased the land from the Dutch West Indian Company as it was considered part of New Netherland. The area became officially known as "the Bronx" in the Annexed District of the Bronx in 1874. It wasn't until this year that the Bronx began to be annexed to the city and it wasn't until 1898 that the Bronx was consolidated into New York City along with Queens and Staten Island. In 1912, the parts of New York County that were annexed from Westchester County in the preceding decades were constituted as Bronx County, which was the last county created by the state.

The Bronx in the 20th century

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Bronx grew into a railroad suburb. A subway system was built to link the Bronx to Manhattan in 1904. The South Bronx became known as a piano manufacturing capital in the early 20th century - the area boasted 63 piano factories that employed over 5,000 workers. After WWI, the Bronx experienced rapid urban growth. Thousands of immigrants moved to the Bronx. The majority of these immigrants were Irish, Italian and Jewish, although many immigrants also moved to the Bronx from Germany, France and Poland. By 1937, around 43.9 percent of the population was Jewish. However, during Prohibition, the oldest sections of the neighborhood became poverty stricken. During the following decades, residents began relocating resulting in a mostly African American and Hispanic (many of whom were Puerto Rican) population inhabiting the Bronx. The Bronx declined rapidly over the 1960s and 1970s. However, the Ten-Year Housing Plan, passed in the 1980s, helped to begin revitalization of the neighborhoods in the Bronx. 

Culture in the Bronx

Writer Edgar Allen Poe spent the remaining years of his life living in the Bronx. The Bronx is also widely acknowledged as the birthplace of hip hop. The Bronx is also home to numerous museums, including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Heine and the Maritime Heritage Museum. However, the Bronx is probably most well known for being the home to the New York Yankees. The famous Yankee Stadium first opened in 1923 off of 161st Street and River Avenue. This also happened to be the year that the Yankees would win their first World Series - they would go on to be one of the most successful Major League baseball teams in the history of the sport, winning 27 World Series Championships in total. The stadium closed in 2008 - however, the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 and remains in the Bronx. It is the home to the New York Yankees and the New York City FC.

This is just a brief history of the Bronx. For more information about living in the city, contact us at our Stuyvesant Town community today.