Westchester County, NY
"We give on page 1036 several illustrations of the scenery of Westchester County, a portion of which has recently been annexed to the city of New York. More than six years ago Mr. Green, as Comptroller of the Parks, directed attention to the necessity for giving the city a limited jurisdiction over the territory whose assets and liabilities he will shortly take cognizance of as Comptroller of the city. In consequence of his recommendations, the Commissioners of Parks were vested with such control over the Westchester shore of Spuyten Duyvel Creek, and over the grades of streets and avenues in the lower part of Westchester County, as enabled them to provide for the continuation of Seventh Avenue by tunnel, for the continuation of the Boulevard by suspension-bridge, and for the regulation of the bulkhead lines between Harlem and Spuyten Duyvel. The impossibility of getting the county towns to pay their legal share of the expenses of such improvements has hitherto greatly retarded their progress. Now that the towns have become a part of the city, this drawback exists no longer. The act of annexation very properly confides to the Department of Parks the control of all improvements in Westchester County. They have had the drawing up of the plans from the first, and their engineers and surveyors are presumably best qualified to carry their own work to its natural termination."
"The question of annexation was submitted to the people at the recent election, and received a decided affirmative vote. The towns added to New York are Morrisania, West Farms, and Kings Bridge, increasing the area contained within the municipal boundary by about one-half; in other words, the New York of 1874 will have an area of about 21,000 acres instead of 14,000 acres as at present. The population of the city is increased by about 40,000 souls."
"As the reader will see from our illustrations, the new part of the city comprises some very picturesque and beautiful bits of scenery. The junction of Spuyten Duyvel Creek with the Hudson at Kings Bridge, of which we give a sketch, is especially noteworthy. The great advantage to the city in the acquisition of the new territory is of course a material one. The development of the upper part of Manhattan Island required that the city should have jurisdiction of both banks of the Harlem River. Every attempt to improve that river, and to increase the facilities of communication between the opposite shores, has failed through the disagreement of the local authorities alluded to above. The interests of both parties to the annexation contract will therefore be promoted by uniting under one jurisdiction. At present the Harlem River is merely an unsightly barrier to all advancement; in future it will become the means of uniting the city and the suburbs more closely, and of promoting the public works of the whole neighborhood. "
Also read the following article which explains the change in boundaries and governmental jurisdictions. Before the Five-Borough City: The Old Cities, Towns and Villages That Came Together to Form "Greater New York" by Harry Macy, Jr., F.A.S.G., F.G.B.S, Originally published in The NYG&B Newsletter, Winter 1998
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