Armonk is about 10 miles inland from Long Island Sound in Westchester County on the southwestern border of Connecticut and about 40 miles north of New York City. It is one of three hamlets in North Castle—the other two are North White Plains and Banksville. Commuting into New York City involves a 10-minute drive to the North White Plains Metro-North Railroad station, where the Harlem Line will take you to Grand Central Terminal in about an hour. Or you could drive all the way on Interstate-684 to the Hutchinson River Parkway South and into the city via the George Washington Bridge or continue farther east to the FDR Drive.
Nearly 30 percent of the 4,800 residents of Armonk are under the age of 18, so education for grades K – 12 is a good place to start when considering this rural hamlet in the town of North Castle, New York.
The Byram Hills Central School District that serves Armonk also serves the surrounding towns of North Castle, New Castle, Mount Pleasant and some parts of Bedford, Chappaqua, and Pleasantville. But all the public schools in the district—one high school, one middle school, and two elementary schools—are located within Armonk. The school district’s mission states that it provides students with a whole child approach to learning and thriving and that it balances high rigor opportunities with intensive support. The only private school in Armonk is Montessori Children’s Room for pre-K and K – 1 students.
The history of the hamlets in North Castle, including Armonk, parallel the histories of settlement and development of most of the towns and hamlets in Westchester County, with land purchased from the First Americans by Dutch or English settlers. What stands out about North Castle is that it was a noted refuge for people escaping religious persecution—from Rye and Long Island. Its name derives from North Fort, a barrier the Siwanoy Indians built to stave off enemy attacks. The settlers euphemistically renamed the area North Castle.
Though Armonk and its neighboring hamlets were officially neutral during the Revolutionary War, residents supported the Continental Army. Elijah Miller’s house in North White Plains served as General George Washington’s headquarters during the war and Smith’s Tavern, in Armonk, was the headquarters for the local militia. Smith’s Tavern now houses the North Castle Historical Society; the structure was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983. The Bedford Road Historic District, which runs along Bedford Road in Armonk, was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1985. It includes nine wood-frame buildings representing various classically-inspired 19th-century architectural styles, including Federal and Greek Revival. St. Stephens Church, built in 1842 and representative of Greek Revival style, is the oldest surviving building in the historic district.
Today, Armonk is the site of the IBM headquarters—on the original North Fort site. The first corporate headquarters building for IBM, designed by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill, was a massive 420,000-square-foot concrete and steel-faced structure built in 1963 on 368 acres. In 1997, the company built a new smaller-scale—284,000 square feet on 211 acres of neighboring land it owned —Z-shaped headquarters designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates.
Living in Armonk allows for enjoyment of wooded rural surroundings and rolling hills, the ease of a suburban lifestyle within walking distance to a downtown where everything, from shops to restaurants to its annual summer and winter parades and festivals, occurs along Main Street. Armonk Square, a mixed-use development just off Main Street on Maple Road, adds to the retail appeal with restaurants ranging from salad and soup cafes to trendy Italian eateries, and shops such as the vape and tobacco store, The Glass Room 4, and boutiques for women and men, including Beginnings Bleus that will reinvigorate anyone’s closet.
Outdoor activities abound. If you go in the winter, the hamlet holds a Frosty the Snowman celebration during the holidays, paying homage to the co-composer of the song, Steve Nelson, a former resident.
Friends of the North Castle Public Library sponsor an annual arts fair during two weekends in September in North Castle Community Park; the Friends sponsor the Armonk Players, a community theater group, too.
Two community parks, North Castle Community Park off Business Park Drive and the John A. Lombardi Park off Cox Avenue have tennis courts and sports fields. A third community park, Wampus Brook Park at Maple Avenue and Bedford Road features outdoor summer concerts. There also is an outdoor community pool, The Anita Louise Ehrman Pool, on Greenway Road.
Buying in Armonk means a median-priced single-family home will cost you about US$1.13 million closer to Main Street, with newer luxury homes in the US$2-million range farther west, with addresses on Deer Ridge Lane or Quaker Meeting House Road or Juniper Court or Whippoorwill Road. Mansions on large acreages can be found for as high as US$20 million.
Architectural styles in the luxury range in Armonk include the stately stone and brick Colonials in Sands Mill Estates or Windmill Farms and the contemporary Mid-century Modern-inspired styles of Round Hill and Tallwoods Roads.
From the Fun Facts About Armonk Department: The hamlet has had its share of notable residents. Among them: Dave Barry, humor writer; Laura Branigan, musician; Johnny Depp, actor; Peter Gallagher, actor; Renatto Scotto, opera soprano; Bernie Williams, New York Yankees baseball player; David Harbour, actor in TV’s Stranger Things; Tom Kitt, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of the score for the play Next to Normal; and Steve Nelson, co-composer of “Frosty the Snowman”; Eddie Cahill, an actor in TV’s endless CSI series; and Bryce Howard, the actress and Opie’s daughter.
42 percent of residents hold a Master of Arts degree or higher
38 percent of residents hold a 4-year college degree
The population has a higher-than-average median household income than the rest of the United States
Major employers are the international corporations IBM and Swiss Re, both headquartered in the hamlet