Woodlawn, The Bronx (History)

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woodlawnWoodlawn (population 7,741) is a neighborhood in the borough of the Bronx in New York City. Unlike some neighborhoods in New York City, its boundaries are fairly well-defined, as it is bounded by McLean Avenue to the north, which is approximately the New York City / Westchester County line, th Bronx River to the east, Woodlawn Cemetery to the south and Van Cortlandt Park to the west. In addition to being home to a large Irish-American and Irish immigrant population, it is also the site of the famous Woodlawn Cemetery. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 12.

Katonah Avenue, which runs north-south through the heart of Woodlawn, is a popular destination for its many pubs and Irish bakeries and specialty shops. McLean Avenue, which runs east-west, is the main shopping strip for the neighborhood. Its pubs and shops are considered to be some of the neighborhood’s most notable fixtures, although technically it is not part of Woodlawn at all but within the City of Yonkers, New York.

Notable features of the neighborhood include Oneida Triangle, a memorial to residents of Woodlawn who served in World War I, and Muskrat Cove, a paved path along the Bronx River. In 2004, the City of New York announced plans to construct a new pedestrian bridge connecting Muskrat Cove and Shoelace Park as part of the Bronx Greenway.

Woodlawn’s youth have been known for their rivalry with the nearby Riverdale section of the Bronx directly across from Van Cortlandt Park. Rivalries with Bainbridge in the 1980s and Yonkers have existed as well. In the 1990s, the neighborhood was reinvigorated by the arrival of many young immigrants from Ireland. The neighborhood is served by Judith K. Weiss School P.S. 19.

St. Barnabas, a Catholic church in Woodlawn, serves as a center of Irish culture, offering Irish language classes and also having an Irish Outreach program to assist Irish immigrants in finding jobs and residence in the neighborhood. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is another church in the neighborhood.

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