Tucked Away in Riverdale, Wave Hill Offers An Incomparable Experience In All of New York City


There’s really no place quite like Wave Hill which is located in the Northwestern Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale. Even the surrounding neighborhood it sits in is different from the rest of the city. The list of notable residents that have lived on the estate is equally as impressive.

Ever since my first steps upon the grounds of this magical place, its held a special place in my heart. While attending college in nearby New Rochelle at Iona, I would often drive over during long breaks between classes and relax or catch up on my studies or readings.

Overlooking the Hudson River and majestic Jersey Palisades at over 150 feet above sea level, this public garden has been in the city’s hands since 1960. Its history goes back even deeper to 171 years ago when Wave Hill House was constructed in 1843 by William Lewis Morris of Morrisania.

Some of its notable residents have been Arturo Toscanini, President Theodore Roosevelt while he was in grade school, and Mark Twain.

The last private owner of Wave Hill was George W. Perkins, a partner of JP Morgan, who purchased it in 1903 and remained in the family until it was deeded to the City of New York.

During a recent tour with Martha Gellens, Assistant Director of Marketing at Wave Hill, she pointed out that Perkins was instrumental in the preservation of the Palisades across the Hudson in New Jersey. We can thank him, as well as others, to be able to enjoy the virtually unspoiled views of this natural wonder.

The tranquility of the grounds of this lush 28 acre estate serves as a means of escape from the hustle and bustle that is New York City. Upon entering the gates of the garden, you can already feel as if you’re stepping back in time into a quiter era.
[slideshow_deploy id=’2651′] The ambient noise is simply that of nature and the occasional airplane flying overhead. Even at its busiest, patrons respect the tranquility of the place almost as if inside a cathedral — except this one is an homage to the splendor of nature in the northeast in all the glory of the four seasons.

For its size, Wave Hill packs in much to see and do. Whether it’s a stroll through the garden areas or trails, sitting by the reflecting pool, or one of the many educational programs offered. These programs are designed for students from the pre-k through high school and meet New York State requirements for Science, Social Studies, and Art.


Speaking of the Arts, Wave Hill also has a comprehensive arts program via exhibits, the performing, arts, as well as free classes on Saturday mornings for kids and their families.

Regardless of whether you visit this gem during the blooming delights of Spring, the lush greenery of Summer, the resplendent leaves of Autumn, or the starkness of Winter, it is a place that will leave you wanting more.

Wave Hill is open Tuesdays through Sunday from 9:30AM to 5:30PM from March 15th through October 31st. From November 1st through March 14th, the garden is open from 9:30AM to 4:30PM. General admission is $8, $4 for students and seniors 65+ and $2 for children 6+.

Thanks to the support of Target, Wave Hill offers the following free admission days:

Year-round: 9AM–noon

January, February, March, April: All day
May, June: 9AM–noon
July, August: All day
September, October: 9AM–noon
November, December: All day

For more information on how to get to Wave Hill, please visit: http://www.wavehill.org/visit/

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.