Looking at a few old photographs of Fordham Road, shown to me by our own Alexandra Maruri, founder of Bronx Historical Tours, I was immediately intrigued to do some research into this well known thoroughfare that stretches east to west from the Harlem River to Bronx Park and from High Bridge on the south to Spuyten Duyvil on the north.
Sometimes I think, instead of being a writer, I should have embarked on a career as a historian. I cannot tell you how much I love history and delving into the details of people and places from times gone by.
According to UrbanAreas.com, “Fordham Road we know today stems from the Fordham Manor, but it has its closest ties with a rural village (Fordham Village) that developed around the New York Central Railroad station of Fordham (on Webster Avenue and Fordham Road) and St. John’s College (now Fordham University).”
Prior to the 20th Century, most of The Bronx, including Fordham Village, was comprised predominantly of small farms and estates. Moving into the 1900’s, the Borough saw an influx of new residents coming from Manhattan and the lower Bronx which coincided with the emergence of inexpensive and accessible rapid transit like the Third Avenue El, the Jerome Avenue IRT, and the IND under the Grand Concourse.
The new residents included a mix of ethnic groups, resulting in the development of a variety of diverse neighborhoods and an increase in the number of mom and pop shops and businesses in the area. “This little economic boom included the construction of the $4 million Loew’s Paradise Theater in 1929 and the opening of an Alexander’s department store in 1938.”
“Fordham Road went on to replace 149th Street (the Hub) as the Bronx’s prominent shopping and entertainment centers” according to UrbanAreas.com.
5 Fun Facts About Fordham Road
Historically, Fordham Road has some of the most notable Bronx landmarks in all of the Borough and worth every moment of a visit whether you are a Proud Bronx resident or a visitor.
-Till next time,
Elisa is a travel blogger and freelance writer. She is co-founder of TravelinCousins.com travel blog and writes a weekly column for ThisIsTheBronx.info.