New Rochelle, New York
New Roc City and New Rochelle police station
New Roc City and New Rochelle police station
Flag of New Rochelle, New York
Official seal of New Rochelle, New York
Official logo of New Rochelle, New York
Queen City of the Sound
Nunquam Retrorsum
(Never Backward)
Location within Westchester County and the state of New York
Location within Westchester County and the state of New York
Interactive map of New Rochelle
Coordinates: 40°54′31″N 73°46′55″W / 40.90861°N 73.78194°W / 40.90861; -73.78194
Country United States
State New York
Incorporated (city)1899
Named forLa Rochelle, France
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorYadira Ramos-Herbert (D)
 • City Council
Members' List
 • Total13.14 sq mi (34.05 km2)
 • Land10.29 sq mi (26.64 km2)
 • Water2.86 sq mi (7.40 km2)
85 ft (26 m)
 • Total79,726
 • Density7,750.92/sq mi (2,992.62/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
10801–10802, 10804–10805
Area code914
FIPS code36-50617
GNIS feature ID958451[2]

New Rochelle (/ˌnjrəˈʃɛl/ NEW-rə-SHEL; older French: La Nouvelle-Rochelle) is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States.[2] It is a suburb of New York City, located approximately 17 miles (27 km) from Midtown Manhattan. In 2020, the city had a population of 79,726, making it the 7th-largest city and 22nd-most populous municipality in New York.



17th and 18th centuries

Statue of Jacob Leisler

This area was occupied by cultures of indigenous peoples for thousands of years. They made use of the rich resources of Long Island Sound and inland areas.

By the 17th century, the historic Lenape bands, who spoke a language in the Algonquian family, were prominent in the area. Their territory extended from the coastal areas of western present-day Connecticut, Long Island and south through New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.

In 1654, the Siwanoy Indians, a band of Lenape (also known as the Delaware by English colonists), sold land to English settler Thomas Pell.[3] Some 33 families established the community of La Nouvelle-Rochelle (French pronunciation: [la nuvɛl ʁɔʃɛl]) in 1688. Many of them were artisans and craftsmen from La Rochelle, France.

A monument containing the names of these settlers stands in Hudson Park, the original landing point of the Huguenots.[4] In 1689, Pell officially deeded 6,100 acres (25 km2) for the establishment of a Huguenot community.[5]

Jacob Leisler is an important figure in the early histories of both New Rochelle and the United States. He arrived in America as a mercenary in the British Army and later became one of the most prominent merchants in New York. He was subsequently appointed acting-governor of the province; during his tenure he acted on behalf of the Huguenots.[6]

One condition of the sale was that Pell and his heirs would receive "one fatt calfe" on June 24 of every year thereafter, if demanded.[7] The "fatt calfe" was commemorated in the New Rochelle 250th Anniversary half dollar, minted in 1937.[7][8] Pell's descendants did not request a calf until the 1950s.[9][10] Since then, there have been occasional "fatt calfe" ceremonies.[10][9]

Of all the Huguenot settlements in America founded with the intention of being distinctly French colonies, New Rochelle most clearly fulfilled such plans. The colony attracted French refugees until as late as 1760, during the French and Indian War in North America between Britain and France.

The settlement was named after La Rochelle, France, where many of the French refugees had come from. The people continued to speak French, and it was common practice for people in neighboring areas to send their children to New Rochelle to learn the language.[11]

Thomas Paine Monument

In 1775, General George Washington stopped in New Rochelle on his way to assume command of the Army of the United Colonies in Massachusetts.[12] In 1776 the British Army briefly occupied sections of New Rochelle and Larchmont. Following British victory in the Battle of White Plains, New Rochelle became part of a "Neutral Ground" for General Washington to regroup his troops.[12]

After the Revolutionary War ended in 1784, patriot Thomas Paine was given a farm in New Rochelle for his service to the cause of independence. The farm, totaling about 300 acres (1.2 km2), had been confiscated from its owners by the state of New York due to their Tory activities.

The first national census of 1790 shows New Rochelle with 692 residents. Some 136 were African American, including 36 who were freemen; the remainder were enslaved.[13]

19th and 20th centuries


Through the 18th century, New Rochelle had remained a modest village that retained an abundance of agricultural land. During the 19th century, however, New York City was a destination from the mid-century on by waves of immigration, principally from Ireland and Germany. More established American families left New York City and moved into this area. Although the original Huguenot population was rapidly shrinking in relative size, through ownership of land, businesses, banks, and small manufactures, they retained a predominant hold on the political and social life of the town.

The 1820 Census showed 150 African-Americans residing in New Rochelle, six of whom were still enslaved. The state abolished slavery by degrees: children of enslaved mothers were born free, and all enslaved people were freed by 1827.

In 1857 the Village of New Rochelle was established within the borders of the Town of New Rochelle. A group of volunteers created the first fire service in 1861. In 1899, a bill creating the New Rochelle City Charter was signed by Governor Theodore Roosevelt. It was through this bill that the Village and Town of New Rochelle were joined into one municipality. In 1899, Michael J. Dillon narrowly defeated Hugh A. Harmer to become New Rochelle's first mayor. The recently established city charter designated a board of aldermen as the legislative unit with two members to be elected from each of four wards and 10 elected from the city at-large.[14]

By 1900, New Rochelle had a population of 14,720. Throughout the city, farms, estates, and wooded homesteads were bought up by realty and development companies.[15] Planned residential neighborhoods such as Rochelle Park, one of the first planned communities in the country, soon spread across the city, earning New Rochelle the sobriquet "City of Homes".[16] In 1909, Edwin Thanhouser established Thanhouser Film Corporation. Thanhouser's Million Dollar Mystery was one of the first serial motion pictures.[17] In 1923, New Rochelle resident Anna Jones became the first African-American woman to be admitted to the New York State Bar.[18]

Poet and resident James J. Montague captured the image of New Rochelle at the time in his 1926 poem "Queen City of the Sound".[19]

In 1930, New Rochelle recorded a population of 54,000, up from 36,213 only ten years earlier. During the 1930s, New Rochelle was the wealthiest city per capita in New York state and the third wealthiest in the country.[20]

By the end of the century, the Metro North railroad station was rebuilt along with a $190 million entertainment complex, nicknamed New Roc City, which featured a 19-screen movie theater, an IMAX theater, an indoor ice-hockey arena, mini-golf, go karts, an arcade, restaurants, a hotel, loft-apartments and a mega supermarket. The complex was built on the site of the former New Rochelle Mall, which had opened in 1968.[21]

21st century


In 2014, New Rochelle's planning board approved $149 million in developments to three major sections of the city. The developments include restaurants, stores, hotels, an entertainment area, theaters and a mixed-use waterfront area, and are expected to be completed within 10 years.[22] Additional tax breaks ranging in the tens of millions of dollars have since been awarded by the city government to further the redevelopment of the downtown area.

Members of the New York National Guard distribute groceries in New Rochelle on March 18, 2020

In March 2020, New Rochelle became one of the first reported centers for COVID-19 transmission in New York state during the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak. On March 10, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered components of the New York Air National Guard and New York Army National Guard to institute a one-mile radius containment area centered around the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue in the Wykagyl section of the City in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. The implementation of this containment area, which covered multiple neighborhoods in New Rochelle and extended into parts of the neighboring Town of Eastchester, marked the first use in the state of New York of social distancing measures and the closure of schools, houses of worship, and other institutions to combat the spread of the pandemic.[23][24][25] Large gathering places including schools and places of worship were declared closed, while National Guard troops were deployed to provide logistical support such as assistance with the distribution of food and the disinfection of public areas.[25]

Historic sites

Overlooking Davids Island



New Rochelle is located at the southeastern point of continental New York State. It lies on the Long Island Sound, bordered on the west by Pelham, Pelham Manor and Eastchester, by Scarsdale to the north and east, and Mamaroneck and Larchmont to the east. The city lies 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the New York City border (Pelham Bay Park in The Bronx). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.2 square miles (34.3 km2). The city has a roughly triangular shape, approximately 10 miles (16 km) from north to south and 1.5 miles (2 km) from east to west at its widest point.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[28][29]

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 79,726 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 44.4% White , 18.9% Black, 1.1% Native American/Alaska Native, 4.9% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 18.9% from some other race and 11.5% from two or more races. 32.9% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As measured by the census[30] of 2000, New Rochelle had a population of 72,182 people, 24,275 occupied households, and 17,546 families living in the city. The population density was 6,973.5 inhabitants per square mile (2,692.5/km2). There were 26,995 housing units at an average density of 2,608.0 per square mile (1,007.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68% White, 19% African American, 0.20% Native American, 4% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6% from other races, and 3% from two or more races. 20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males. There were 26,189 households, out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.29.

19,312 residents of New Rochelle were enrolled in school, with 2,743 in pre-school or kindergarten, 8,105 in elementary school, 3,704 in high school and 5,030 in college or graduate school. Out of 42,872 individuals over the age of 25, 20% (9,766) had no high school diploma, 23% (11,325) were high school graduates, 14% (6,710) achieved some level of college education, 5% (2,347) held an associate degree, 19% (9,120) held a bachelor's degree and 20% (9,604) possessed a graduate or other advanced degree.

The working population was 35,262, 95.7% of whom were employed. The occupational breakdown had 42% working in 'management', 25% working in 'sales', 17% in 'services', 8% in 'construction', and 7% in 'production and transport'. The average daily commute was 30 minutes, with 60% driving to work, 12% carpooling, 18% traveling via public-transportation and 7% using other means.

According to the 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the median income for a household in the city was $64,756 and the median income for a family was $88,004.[31] About 9.8% of the population lived below the poverty line.

According to the American Community Survey in 2018, 5.2% of the population was West Indian.[32]



According to the New Rochelle Police Department, New Rochelle is the safest city of its size in New York State and the fifth-safest city of its size in the United States.[33] The majority of crimes committed within New Rochelle are non-violent property crimes, including burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Property crime, on a scale of 1 (low crime) to 10, is 4 compared to the US average of 3. Violent crime (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) is 3, equal to the US average.[34]

Residential profile


While the formerly industrial downtown section is more densely developed, with condominiums, high rises, offices, shopping centers, affordable housing complexes, a medical center, nursing homes, two college campuses and an intermodal transportation hub, the rest of the city consists of sprawling residential neighborhoods. There are more than 11,500 single-family houses within the city, more than that of neighboring Larchmont, Mamaroneck, and Scarsdale combined. The total number of separate households surpasses 26,000, more than that of neighboring Pelham, Pelham Manor, Eastchester, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck and Larchmont combined.[citation needed]

Housing variety


The city contains a very diverse range of housing stock, composed of single-family and multi-family residences built from the 18th to the 21st centuries which are characteristic of various historic and modern North American architectural styles. Historic housing types particularly common in the city's older residential neighborhoods are of the Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, and Colonial Revival styles that were in vogue as the city experienced its first period of great growth during the Gilded Age era. Brownstones, townhomes, red brick apartment buildings, and modern mid-rise residential blocks are defining elements of the urban southwestern quarter of the city. [35] With a population approaching 80,000 residents, New York State law dictates that the city provide an adequate amount of affordable housing units. The city has been working to replace the existing Weyman Avenue Projects with more community-centered, townhouse-style housing units.[citation needed]



Within the greater city borders are many established neighborhoods and subsections, several of which are larger in both size and population than neighboring villages of Larchmont, Bronxville and Pelham Manor. The public community areas most noted include: Bayberry, Beechmont, Bloomingdale Estates, Bonnie Crest, Daisy Farms, Davenport Neck, Echo Manor, Forest Heights, Forest Knolls, French Ridge, Glen Island, Glenwood Lake, Lake Isle, Larchmont Woods, Northfield, Paine Heights, Pinebrook, Premium Point Park, Quaker Ridge, Residence Park, Rochelle Heights, San Souci, Scarsdale Downs, Shore Road, Sutton Manor, Vaneck Estates, Ward Acres, Wilmot Woods and Wykagyl. Brookridge, Riviera Shores, Premium Point, Pinebrook Hollow, Kensington Woods, and Cherry Lawn are gated neighborhoods accessible only by those immediate residents.



New Rochelle has been home to a variety of industries over the years, including: Thanhouser Film Studios, Terrytoons Studios, P.J. Tierney Diner Manufacturing, Flynn Burner Company, New York Seven Up (Joyce Beverages, Inc), RawlPlug, Inc., the Longines Symphonette Society, and Conran's USA. Manufacturing and warehousing has declined since the 1990s as industrial land near both exits from Interstate 95 have been converted to "big box" retailer use.

New Rochelle remains a center of business, home to the corporate headquarters of Sidney Frank Importing, Blimpies, East River Savings Bank, and Somnia Anesthesia Services.

Parks and recreation

Islands along New Rochelle's waterfront
Bayside, New Rochelle, New York, by David Johnson, 1886



The shoreline of New Rochelle measures 2.7 miles (4.3 km), but due to many irregularities and off-shore islands, the actual length of the waterfront is 9.3 miles (15.0 km).[clarification needed]



The city has a collection of parklands and nature preserves, with 102.5 acres (0.415 km2) of inland waters, 231.51 acres (0.9369 km2) of public park lands and 168 acres (0.68 km2) of park lets.






New Rochelle City Hall
Mayors of the City of New Rochelle
Mayor Party Term
Yadira Ramos-Herbert[39] Democratic 2024–present
Noam Bramson[40] Democratic 2006–2023
Timothy C. Idoni[41] Democratic 1992–2005
Leonard C. Paduano[42][43] Republican 1980–1991
Vincent R. Rippa[44] Democratic 1976–1979
Frank J. Garito[45] Republican 1971–1975
Stanley W. Church[46] Democratic 1970
Alvin R. Ruskin[47] Republican 1964–1970
Stanely W. Church Democratic 1960–1963
George Vergara[48] Independent 1956–1959
Stanley W. Church Democratic 1940–1955
Harry Scott[49] Republican 1935–1940
Charles F. Simmons Republican 1935
Paul M. Crandell[49] Republican 1934–1935
Walter G. C. Otto[50] Democratic 1930–1934
Benjamin B. Badeau[51] Republican 1926–1929
Harry Scott[49] Republican 1920–1925
Frederick H. Waldorf[52] Democratic 1918–1919
Edward Stetson Griffing[53] Republican 1914–1917
Frederick H. Waldorf Democratic 1912–1913
Harry E. Colwell[54] Republican 1910–1911
George G. Raymond Democratic 1908–1909
Henry S. Clarke[55][56] - 1902–1907
Michael Dillon[57] Democratic 1899–1901
Source: Names and Dates Confirmed by Mayoral Portraits in New Rochelle City Hall

Since 1932, New Rochelle has operated under a Council-Manager form of government. The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the city selected to carry out the directives of the Council. The Manager monitors the city's fiscal condition and enforces its ordinances and laws. The City Manager is involved in the discussion of all matters coming before Council yet has no final vote. The City Council is the legislative body consisting of the Mayor and six council members. The Mayor serves as the presiding officer of the Council. Since 1993, the City has had six council districts, with one council member elected from and by each district. The Council functions to set policy, approve the annual budget, appoint the City Manager and City Clerk, and enact local laws, resolutions & ordinances.[58]





The city is served by the City School District of New Rochelle, which operates a public high school, two middle schools, six elementary schools, and one pre-k through second grade Early Childhood Center.[59] On seven separate occasions, the City's schools have received the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education. New Rochelle High School is one of the most diverse high schools in the country; the student body represents over 60 countries from around the world. The school offers over 240 courses including honors, research and advanced placement courses.

Libraries are operated by the New Rochelle Public Library System which is part of the county-wide Westchester Library System.



Primary and secondary


Higher education


Miscellaneous education


The Japanese Weekend School of New York, a Japanese weekend school, has its offices in New Roc City in New Rochelle.[60] As of 2006, the school had about 800 students, including Japanese citizens, and Japanese Americans, at locations in Westchester County and Long Island.[61]







Major highways include Interstate 95 and the Hutchinson River Parkway. Interstate 95 serves as the main route through New Rochelle, with four exits directly serving the city. The Hutchinson River Parkway, which is designated for passenger vehicles only, runs through much of the city. Substantial congestion on the parkway occurs in both directions during the morning and evening rush-hour.

The Boston Post Road, known as Main Street in downtown New Rochelle, is used as a major artery during the morning and evening commute. Most traffic via the Post Road is short distance or fairly local, yet vehicles have utilized Route 1 during times of heavy congestion on I-95 as a re-route.

Public transit


The city has a train station served by Metro North on the New Haven Line and Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor via its Northeast Regional train.[62] The city is also served by the Bee-Line Bus System for local service. Adirondack Trailways provides interstate bus service.

Rail transit began in New Rochelle around 1848, when the New York & New Haven opened their line along Long Island Sound. After the Civil War, proposals for new railroads reached new levels. Banking that the city would continue to grow northward, the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway Company was established to serve the large populations moving to the suburbs. Two main lines were built as part of the NYW&B; the Port Chester line and the White Plains line. While the populations of some communities served by the NYW&B did grow between 1912 and 1937, the growth was not sufficient or fast enough to provide adequate business for the railroad, and service was discontinued on December 31, 1937.

Air travel


Westchester County is served by Westchester County Airport. Additionally, New Rochelle is easily accessed by New York City airports (JFK, LaGuardia), and New Jersey's Teterboro and Newark Airport.

Emergency services



Fire station

The New Rochelle Fire Department (NRFD) provides fire protection and first responder emergency medical services to the city of New Rochelle.[63] The New Rochelle Fire Department responds to approximately 8,000 emergency calls annually. The city also contracts with a commercial ambulance service, Transcare Emergency Medical Ambulance Services, to provide dedicated ALS Ambulances to the city 24/7, 365. Two ambulances from Transcare EMS are stationed at two New Rochelle Fire Department firehouses in the southern and northern sections of the city.[64] The New Rochelle Fire Department is sub-divided into two main divisions of operation: Fire and Emergency Operations, and Support Services. Each of these divisions is commanded by a Deputy Chief.[65][66]

The Fire and Emergency Operations Division is commanded by four Deputy Chiefs, one per shift/squad, who reports to the Chief of Department/Fire Commissioner. This division supervises the department's eight fire companies and 155 uniformed members.

The NRFD currently operates out of five fire stations, located throughout the city, under the command of one Deputy Chief/Tour Commander per shift. The New Rochelle Fire Department also operates and maintains a fire apparatus fleet of five engines, three ladders, one rescue, and numerous special, support, and reserve units.[66] In addition to the five fire stations, the NRFD also operates a Fire Headquarters administrative building.[67]



The Town of New Rochelle formed its first professional police department in 1885, 14 years before the city incorporated in 1899. The Department currently has 186 sworn officers and a total staff of more than 250. In 1993, the Department was certified as an accredited agency by the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council. Special programs include community oriented policing through the 'Police and Community Together' (PACT) program, harbor patrol, and a bicycle patrol.[68]

Health care


Sound Shore Medical Center, also known as Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, is a not-for-profit health care organization located in New Rochelle that treats over 85,000 patients annually and operates the only New York State Area Trauma Center in southern Westchester County.

Ambulance service is provided by Transcare EMS, which operates three Paramedic-staffed Medic Ambulances throughout the city.

Notable people




In the early 20th century, New Rochelle was home to one of the first movie studios in the country, Edwin Thanhouser's Thanhouser Film Corporation. Originally located on the corner of Warren and Grove Street, the company moved to Main Street near Echo Avenue after a devastating fire in 1913. The studio is noted for filming the first serial in motion pictures, named The Million Dollar Mystery.[69]

Terrytoons animation studio was located in New Rochelle from 1928 to 1968. Its most popular characters include Mighty Mouse, Gandy Goose, Dinky Duck, Deputy Dawg, Luno and Heckle and Jeckle.[70]

In films and television


Sister city


New Rochelle's "sister city" is La Rochelle, France, a city and commune of western France. There has been a "friendly relationship" between the two cities since 1910.[79]

See also



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