Rye Brook is a 3.5-square-mile village in the town of Rye in Westchester County, New York. The village sits along the New York-Connecticut border, neighboring Greenwich, Connecticut, and several other Westchester County communities, including the villages of Port Chester and Mamaroneck and the towns of Rye, Harrison, and Purchase.
Incorporated as a village on July 7, 1982, Rye Brook is Westchester County’s newest municipality. The village shares much of its history with the town of Rye, which was founded in 1660 by English settlers from Greenwich, Connecticut. Today, the town of Rye comprises the villages of Rye Brook, Port Chester, and a section of the village of Mamaroneck.
The William E. Ward House, the oldest extant reinforced concrete residence in the United States, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ward, an engineer, inventor, and industrialist, built the house from 1873 to 1876. Dubbed “Ward’s Folly” by its neighbors, locally known as Ward’s Castle, the “fireproof” building was designed by architect Robert Mook with built-in voids and hollows in floors and walls to provide ducts for central heating. The Second Empire-style house, with its five-level Gothic tower, once housed the National Cartoon Museum founded by “Beetle Bailey” creator Mort Walker. Ward’s Castle is in private hands today.
The architectural styles in Rye Brook range from Ward’s Victorian “folly” to Colonial or Greek Revivals and Shingle Style exemplars. The luxury real estate options in Rye Brook include townhouses in mid-village, large single-family residences, and estate homes. BelleFair is a private enclave with a clubhouse, pool, and fitness center. The Pointe is a new luxury townhome development on Lower Blind Brook Pond. Each residence has a two-car garage, elevator, and a terrace with river views. Hillendale is another highly sought-after section of the village. Hidden Falls, adjacent to Crawford Park, is coveted community with pretty, tree-lined streets, a pond, and a waterfall. Woodland Drive is a winding tree-lined street lined with elegant homes on large, wooded tracts. Blind Brook Estates is a secluded wooded enclave with 19th-century homes and new builds, many with private tennis courts and swimming pools.
Rye Brook offers a quieter lifestyle than the neighboring towns and villages of Port Chester and Greenwich, Connecticut. There’s no official town center, but Rye Ridge Shopping Center is a local hotspot. The 230,000-square-foot mixed-use complex has more than 75 specialty stores, upscale and casual restaurants and cafés, yoga and fitness studios, day spas, salons, a medical office, and local services.
Rye Brook has nearly 100 acres of parkland and green space. Residents have access to the facilities of the town of Rye, including the 62-acre Rye Town Park and Beach, Rye Beach, and Oakland Beach. There are five parks and several recreation spaces in the village. Crawford Park, between North Ridge Street and Lincoln Avenue, is a 35-acre preserve with gardens, woods, walking/running paths, playing fields, a playground, pavilion, and “sensory garden.” The heart of the park is Crawford Mansion. Built in 1908, the mansion underwent a $6 million renovation. Today, it’s a community center, weddings and events space, and a venue for various festivals throughout the year, including the annual Rye Brook Birthday Celebration. Pine Ridge Park is a multi-use recreation space with two Little League baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground. There are several smaller recreation spaces: Garibaldi Park has a baseball diamond, basketball, and tennis courts; Rye Hills Park has a walking trail, basketball court, game tables, a children’s storytelling area, and a belvedere with views of Long Island Sound. Rye Brook Athletic Fields has a football, soccer, and softball fields, walking paths, and a concession stand. There are a number of golf courses in the area, including the prestigious Blind Brook Country Club, Westchester Country Club, the Golf Club of Purchase, and The Apawamis Club.
Cava, an 80-restaurant chain and culinary brand, offers traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in a casual-contemporary dining room at Rye Ridge Plaza. Fortina, by chef Christian Petroni, offers an assortment of Italian entrees, wood-fired pizzas, classic desserts, craft cocktails, an extensive brunch menu, and authentic polenta alla spianatora (“polenta and sausages for a crowd”). Atrium restaurant at the Doral Arrowwood Resort serves gourmet buffet-style lunches and à la carte dinners, Sunday Brunch, and the Saturday Night Buffet Dinner Dance in its elegant dining room overlooking the resort grounds. Dinner and drinks are also served on the patio. Mulligans Outdoor Café offers lunch, dinner, and drinks facing the ninth green of the Doral Arrowwood Golf Course. Härth, at the Hilton Westchester hotel, is a twist on the traditional hotel dining experience. Executive Chef Rafael Velazquez’s locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients are cooked in a wood-burning oven.
There are two school districts in the village. Around 70 percent of students attend the Blind Brook-Rye Union Free School District’s three public schools. Bruno M. Ponterio Ridge Street School is a highly rated public school with 611 students in grades K-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Blind Brook Middle School is a small, close-knit learning community with 375 students in grades 6-8. Blind Brook High School is another top rated, public school with 468 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.
The remaining 30 percent of students are served by the six schools of the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District: Port Chester High School, Port Chester Middle School, John F. Kennedy Elementary, King Street Elementary, Thomas Edison Elementary, Park Avenue Elementary, and a pre-kindergarten.
Among the area’s top private schools are Rye Country Day School, an independent, co-educational college preparatory school for students from Kindergarten through high school; Rye High School, one of the nation’s top-ranked schools; and School of the Holy Child, an all-girls Catholic school for grades 5 to 12.
The population of Rye Brook is approximately 9,459.
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Image 5 by Daniel Case