Yonkers, NY (YNY)
Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the grand neoclassical building opened in 1911. A recent $4.5 million rehabilitation by Metro-North included work on the exterior and passenger areas.
5 Buena Vista Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10701
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 25,322
- Facility Ownership: MTA Metro-North Railroad
- Parking Lot Ownership: Yonkers Parking Authority
- Platform Ownership: MTA Metro-North Railroad
- Track Ownership: MTA Metro-North Railroad
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The current station in Yonkers, shared with Metro-North’s Hudson commuter rail line, was designed in Beaux-Arts style by architects Warren and Wetmore, who created the facades and interiors for New York’s Grand Central Terminal and also designed the station in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. This station was completed in 1911 for the New York Central Railroad. The building has features also found in Grand Central Terminal, including tall arched windows, triangular lamps over the ticket booths, a vaulted Guastavino tile ceiling in the concourse and carved terra-cotta capitals atop several columns emblazoned with the New York Central Railroad logo. The exterior of the building is red brick with elaborate dentilled cornices, sculpted brackets, a partial copper roof and light-colored stone trim.
The station had been largely neglected for years when Metro-North began a $93 million capital improvement project to restore nine of their Hudson Line stations. Begun in October 2001, the Yonkers station project itself cost $43 million. A California firm restored and reproduced the sculptured terra cotta which adorns the façade, concourse and waiting room. The building restorations cost $4.5 million, with that being a small portion of the overall site work. Other improvements included track work, refurbishing a 3,000-foot retaining wall along the side of the viaducts, replacing track beds and reconstruction of the four steel bridges that cross the underpass to the Hudson River. Metro-North also created a new park and walkways as well as new station platforms, canopies, shelters, lighting, seating, and improvements to comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
Metro-North moved the station’s lighting and ventilation infrastructure, allowing installation of windows and a door on the western wall overlooking the Hudson and providing a better connection to the city’s waterfront esplanade and ongoing development there.
Overall, the station’s restorations have helped serve as catalyst for the city’s new transportation-oriented residential development, Hudson Park, located on the waterfront. Along with two developments of Hudson Park condominiums (more than 500 luxury units) has come the new $53 million Riverfront branch of the Yonkers public library and Board of Education headquarters, restaurants and other businesses. Four new bridges over the tracks have strengthened the waterfront’s connection with downtown. The library branch, Board of Education and Kawasaki Rail Car are part of the former Otis Elevator Company complex of buildings near the station, which is now an industrial park. The 1901 City Recreation Pier has also been restored and renovated to accommodate a five-star restaurant on its second level. The pier is also the docking location for the commuter ferry to Manhattan. Along the river, the city has constructed more than one-half mile of esplanade including a vehicular bridge across the mouth of the Saw Mill River. The bridge has also allowed for a western entrance to the station, making commuting more convenient for residents of waterfront apartments.
The city has tentatively included in its plans for the Alexander Street neighborhood development a multimodal transportation facility of which the Metro-North/Amtrak station is a part, and would consolidate the various transportation modes into one structure adjacent to both the station and the waterfront. Development that the city envisions as accompanying this transportation project includes River Park Center, a $1.6 billion mixed use development; a minor league baseball stadium and parking; the “day lighting” of the Saw Mill River, which was covered over in the 19th century; 3,273 residential units and 17 acres of riverfront parkland.
The city of Yonkers was originally a major settlement of the Manhattan Indians in the hilly area north of the Bronx and on the east bank of the Hudson River where the Saw Mill River joins the Hudson. The area was acquired by the Dutch West India Company in 1639. Adriaen van der Donck—known as De Jonkheer, a courtesy title roughly equivalent to “young lord,” or “gentleman” (whence, phonetically, Yonkers)—was given a land grant there in 1646 and established the patroonship of Colendonck in 1652. Subsequently, the lands were acquired by Frederick Philipse, who built a manor house there in 1682,that was used for a time as Yonkers City Hall. Philipse, a loyalist, fled the country during the American Revolution, and his lands were confiscated. The house still stands as a state historic site.
A once thriving farming community with an industrial riverfront, Yonkers was founded as a village within the Yonkers Township in 1788. It was connected to New York City by rail in 1849, and while the city has maintained its own industries and culture, it has been a New York City suburb since the rail line allowed commuting. Yonkers was incorporated as a city in 1872. The southern portion of old Yonkers was annexed to what later became the Bronx Borough of New York City in 1874.
Among the industries of note in the city are the Otis Elevator Works, established there in 1854. Elisha Otis, who had been sent to Yonkers by his employer, invented several labor-saving devices while working in the Yonkers factory. There he designed and installed what he called the “safety hoist,” the first elevator equipped with an automatic safety device to prevent it from falling if the lifting chain or rope failed.
Bakelite, the world’s first truly synthetic resin was invented in Yonkers in by Belgian-born American chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland. The age of modern plastics is often dated from Baekeland’s patent application in 1907. While plastics have evolved considerably, Bakelite is still commonly used for dominoes, mah-jongg tiles, checkers and chess pieces.
Golf as an organized game in the United States is often dated from the founding of the St. Andrew’s Golf Club at Yonkers, New York, in 1888—although the first course is thought to be Oakhurst, at White Sulfur Springs, West Va. John Reid, a Scot from Dunfermline living in Yonkers, requested that his fellow Scot bring back golf clubs and balls from the old country. When he received them, Reid and his friend John B. Upham tried them out over an improvised three-hole course on February 22, 1888. That fall five men formed a club which later moved in 1897 to Mount Hope in Westchester County, N.Y.
Yonkers is also known for its race course, first opened in 1899 as the Empire City Trotting Club. From 1907 through 1943, thoroughbreds replaced harness racing, Seabiscuit is among the famous thoroughbreds that ran on that track. It re-opened in 2005 as a combination track and casino, and remains one of harness racing’s year-round facilities.
Yonkers is also the site of headquarters and manufacturing facility for Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. The Yonkers plant is equipped for fabrication, assembly, rehabilitation and testing of all types of passenger rail cars; they have also developed the cars on the Shinkansen and Maglev trains overseas. In the U.S., the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter railroads use Kawasaki bi-level rail cars.
The Yonkers station is served by 26 daily trains. Amtrak does not provide ticketing or help with baggage at this station.
Empire Service trains are supported by funds made available by the New York State Department of Transportation. The Ethan Allen Express is financed primarily through funds made available by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the New York State Department of Transportation.
Image courtesy of Metro-North Railroad
- 250 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Ticket Office
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Dedicated Parking
- Elevator Accessible
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- High Platform
- Pay Phones
- Short Term Parking Spaces