Living In: Emerson Hill

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Emerson Hill is a small neighborhood located in the borough of Staten Island. It is technically a private community, as gates are at the entrance to all roads into the area. However, as the gates are almost always open and they are not guarded by security personnel, it does not qualify as a gated community. The northern border of Emerson Hill is formed by the State Island Expressway. To the south is the neighborhood of Todt Hill. Residents of Emerson Hill are largely affluent, compared to the rest of Staten Island, as its privacy and stunning views make this bucolic neighborhood of single-family homes a highly-prized location. From the top of the titular hill, residents can enjoy views of New Jersey, Manhattan, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Housing consists almost entirely of single-family residences, in architectural styles ranging from Swiss Chalet to English Tudor to contemporary residences, many with pools. A homeowner's association helps maintain the neighborhood. The neighborhood takes its name from Judge William Emerson, an early resident of the neighborhood, who lived with his wife and three children in a local house known as The Snuggery. The oldest brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the area was a popular haunt of transcendentalists, as Henry David Thorough also spent quite a bit of time in the neighborhood. Emerson Hill is a convenient neighborhood for commuters, especially those who commute via car. It is a mere twenty-minute drive into Manhattan; the bridge into Brooklyn is only a five-minute drive away. The closest Staten Island Railroad station is in Grasmere, which is a five-minute drive or twenty-minute walk away: from this station, commuters can take the train to the North Shore ferry station. Those who wish to commute by bus can take several busses from the foot of Emerson Hill, including the X10, X14, and X15 routes. Students in Emerson Hill attend schools in District 31. Students in pre-kindergarten through the seventh grade attend P.S. 48 (The William C. Wilcox School). There are also a number of private schools in the area, including the Staten Island Academy and the St. Joseph Hill Academy. Although a small, relatively anonymous neighborhood, Emerson Hill has one major claim to fame: two houses on its Western edge served as the Corleone house in the classic Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather it was the setting for the wedding scenes at the beginning of the film.

Neighborhood Information




  • Ps 54


  • Sports Park
  • Toad Hall Playground
  • Westwood Park

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