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New Rochelle is the second largest city in Westchester and the seventh largest in the entire state of New York. It is located at the southeastern portion of New York, and lies on Long Island Sound. New Rochelle is bordered by the villages of Pelham and Eastchester on the west, Scarsdale on the north and east, and Mamaroneck and Larchmont on the east. The city is just two miles from the Bronx border and only 2.5 miles away from Manhattan. The triangular-shaped city has a total land area of 13.2 square miles.


A City of Excellence

The city was named after La Rochelle, France from where the Huguenots  fled persecution in 1688. New Rochelle is also nicknamed Queen City of the Sound in reference to its 2.7 miles of shoreline on the Long Island Sound. In 2008, the city received several distinctions, including the recognition given by the American Pediatric Medical Association for being among the 100 Best Walking Cities in America. New Rochelle is also listed in Business Week magazine as the best city in New York State, further cited as one of the best places in the whole country to raise children.

The Friendly Neighborhoods of the Rich and the Poor

New Rochelle is popularly referred to as “The Home Town”. Although the city is densely developed with industrial and commercial structures, most of it is still comprised of sprawling, residential neighborhoods. The communities are larger in terms of size and population than those of other Westchester towns. There are gated villages where the country’s most expensive real estate is located, such as Kensington Woods and Cherry Lawn. Single-family homes in these exclusive areas are priced anywhere from $2 to $20 million. New Rochelle is considered as home to the moneyed, including businessman Sidney Frank. Forbes Magazine ranked the north end of the city as one of the 500 most expensive zip codes in the United States.

A significant portion of the city is composed of public communities like Bloomingdale Estates, Forest Heights, and Ward Acres where affordable housing units are available for the middle class and the financially disadvantaged. The city has already surpassed the state housing requirements to address the housing needs of the population yet it continues with its plan to construct community centered townhouse-style residences for the homeless. With its commitment to help the less fortunate, New Rochelle serves as a model for other suburban communities.


The educational system in New Rochelle is considered one of the most extensive in Westchester County. Although the City School District is a public school district, the ten elementary schools, two junior high schools, and one senior high school are mostly Catholic and private. There are three colleges for higher education, two of which are also Catholic schools founded by the sisters of the Ursuline Order and the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The Japanese Weekend School of New York with offices in New Roc City provides miscellaneous education.

The Westchester Arts Council has presented the New Rochelle school district with the “Arts Award for Education” for its commitment to the arts. The American Music Conference has also conferred the city with an award as one of the “Best 100 Communities for Music Education”.


The city’s major thoroughfares, namely Interstate 95, Hutchinson River Parkway, and Boston Post Road serve as the main route used by locals and tourists to get around. Much of the population also relies on Metro North and Amtrak serviced by the commuter railroad station for their transportation needs. This efficient system takes people to and from the following points of interest:

  • Leland Castle: A 29th-century Gothic revival castle built by the wealthy hotel entrepreneur Simeon Leland as his summer residence.
  • Thomas Paine Historical Site: A historical shrine honoring American pamphleteer and Revolutionary War hero Thomas Paine.
  • St. John’s Wilmot Church: A historic Episcopal parish at the northern tip of the city.
  • Trinity-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: A parish of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America that represents a majority of the Huguenot French Calvanistic congregation that follows the liturgy of the Church of England.
  • Execution Rocks Lighthouse: Built in 1949, the lighthouse is believed to be a British execution site during the American Revolutionary War. In reality, the lighthouse serves to warn passing ships about the dangerous rocky area exposed during low tides.
  • Huckleberry Island: The 10-acre island is an important nesting site for water birds in the area.

The city has plenty of open spaces with some converted into parks such as the 90-acre Glen Island Park. It operates one of the 11 marinas that can accommodate over 1,000 ships within its nine-mile long waterfront. In town, people find enough entertainment in New Roc City, a complete complex with a 19-screen movie theatre, an IMAX theatre, mini-golf facility, go-karts oval, ice hockey arena, and an arcade. While there, experience intimate fine dining at Da Giorgio or follow the delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen of Coromandel Cuisine of India to taste complex flavors from across the subcontinent.

New Rochelle is also home to some movie studios. The Thanhouser Film Corporation is best remembered for filming The Million Dollar Mystery and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The animation studio Terrytoons was originally located in the city, and became known for popularizing the characters Mighty Mouse and Gandy Goose.

New Rochelle is on an upward climb to becoming a boomtown. The increasing number of residential permits being issued proves that more people are being lured by the city. There is no better time to join the ride than now.