Ward Hill, Staten Island

Ward Hill, Staten Island: Your Ultimate Neighborhood Guide

If you’re in search of a peaceful and pleasant neighborhood in Staten Island, Ward Hill should be at the top of your list. Nestled as the northernmost point in a series of undulating hills stretching across the island, Ward Hill not only offers breath-taking scenic views and a rich historical backdrop but also houses some of the island’s most influential local political figures, including the notable Caleb T. Ward Mansion. This estate is not only a celebrated New York City landmark but also proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In our comprehensive neighborhood guide, we delve deep into the essence of Ward Hill, Staten Island. We’ll cover its history, demographics, amenities, and real estate, providing you with a thorough overview of what life is like in this charming and tranquil community.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a new place to call home, searching for an idyllic vacation destination, or simply exploring new locales, Ward Hill has something to offer for everyone.

Why Ward Hill? – A Deep Dive into the Neighborhood

Ward Hill is a neighborhood that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and urban convenience. Located on the north shore of Staten Island, Ward Hill is the highest point on the island, offering panoramic views of the New York Harbor, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline. Ward Hill’s history is rich, being home to the Caleb T. Ward Mansion, a stunning Greek Revival house built in 1835, now celebrated as both a New York City landmark and a site on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ward Hill boasts a small and tight-knit community, with approximately 1,000 residents. This largely residential neighborhood features a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments, all well-maintained and brimming with character that reflects the architectural heritage of various eras.

The neighborhood is also noted for its political influence, having been the residence of several local politicians, including former Staten Island Borough Presidents Ralph Lamberti and James Molinaro.

Ward Hill offers the perfect setting for those seeking the best of both worlds: a peaceful and scenic neighborhood that remains close to the city and its vast amenities. It’s merely a short distance from the Staten Island Ferry, providing free, frequent service to Lower Manhattan, and is well-connected to major roads like Victory Boulevard, Bay Street, and Richmond Terrace for easy access to other island areas and the city.

The neighborhood prides itself on its accessibility to a broad array of services and facilities, including schools, parks, shops, restaurants, and cultural venues, making Ward Hill a great place to live for anyone looking to enjoy a tranquil life without sacrificing urban conveniences.

History of Ward Hill

The narrative of Ward Hill weaves through the tapestry of time, anchored to the early 19th century. This esteemed neighborhood received its name from Caleb T. Ward, a distinguished merchant and politician. In 1826, Ward acquired the land atop the hill, setting the stage for its historic journey.

By 1835, he had erected an impressive Greek Revival mansion, a structure that not only survives to this day but also stands as a testament to history, designated as both a New York City landmark and a site on the National Register of Historic Places. Known as the Caleb T. Ward Mansion, this architectural marvel was conceived by Seth Geer, a renowned architect whose portfolio includes work on the iconic U.S. Capitol.

The mansion itself is a showcase of elegance, featuring a majestic portico, a spiraling circular staircase, and an exquisite marble fireplace, among other sophisticated details.

Following the launch of the Staten Island Railway in 1860, Ward Hill transformed into a coveted locale for the island’s affluent, drawing notable figures including former Staten Island Borough Presidents Ralph Lamberti and James Molinaro, both of whom resided on Nixon Avenue. Moreover, the hill has been a silent witness to pivotal moments in history, such as the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 and the consequential Staten Island Peace Conference, where figures like Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge negotiated with British Admiral Richard Howe at the now-museum, Billopp House.

Today, Ward Hill stands as a vibrant community, proud of its historical roots and cultural richness. It is famous for its annual Ward Hill Block Party, an event brimming with live music, delectable foods, engaging games, and a colorful parade, reflecting the spirit and unity of its residents.

The neighborhood also plays a key role in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade, marking its path through Ward Hill en route to West Brighton. Here, history and community blend seamlessly, creating a unique and enduring legacy.


Ward Hill, a small and diverse neighborhood, is home to approximately 1,500 people. The community boasts a median age of 39 years, with an average household size of 3 individuals.

This vibrant neighborhood showcases a rich ethnic and racial mosaic, predominately comprised of White (41.8%), followed by Black (16.6%), Asian (14.9%), and Hispanic or Latino (13.4%) populations. Notably, a substantial 26% of residents are foreign-born, and non-citizens make up 9.25%.

Ward Hill features a broad spectrum of income brackets, with an average household income of $105,338 and a median household income of $71,296. Family households constitute the majority, at 65.06%, with 30.12% of these homes nurturing children.

The neighborhood prides itself on a low poverty rate of just 9.4%, distinguishing itself as a community where the vast majority thrive above the poverty level.

A diverse array of housing options is available, totaling 466 units. Properties predominantly trace back to a median construction year of 1960, with the median value of owner-occupied houses and condos pegged at $500,000. Owner-occupied units dominate at 79.5%, and the median monthly rent stands at $1,723.

Despite its many attractions, Ward Hill has a high vacancy rate of 10.7%, indicating a significant portion of housing units are currently unoccupied.

Living in Ward Hill: Amenities and Services

Ward Hill stands out not just for its beauty and historical significance, but also for the convenience and comfort it brings to its residents and visitors. This neighborhood prides itself on a comprehensive array of amenities and services, including sectors like education, shopping, dining, parks, and recreation. Below are some aspects that highlight the benefits of living in Ward Hill:

Education and Schools

The educational landscape in Ward Hill caters to students of various ages and academic stages through several public and private educational institutions. Among the public schools, notable names include P.S. 78, Ralph R. McKee Career & Technical High School, Richard H. Hungerford School, and Curtis High School. On the private front, institutions like Notre Dame Academy High School, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and Trinity Lutheran contribute to the educational variety. Furthermore, the proximity to esteemed colleges and universities, such as Wagner College, St. John’s University, and the College of Staten Island, adds significant value to Ward Hill’s educational offerings.

Shopping and Dining

For those who relish shopping and dining, Ward Hill promises a rich variety of options catering to diverse tastes and budgets. Strategically located near the St. George Terminal, residents and visitors have access to an array of shops, eateries, and cafes, alongside cultural gems like the Staten Island Museum and the St. George Theatre. Favorite local spots such as 120 Bay Cafe, Full Cup, Jody’s Club Forest, Beso, and Sofia’s Taqueria offer a spectrum of culinary experiences from causal snacks to upscale dining and vibrant bars, ensuring that Ward Hill has something for every palate and occasion.

Parks and Recreation

A community that embraces nature and outdoor leisure, Ward Hill is an integral part of the Greenbelt—a sprawling network of parks, trails, and natural spaces across Staten Island. It’s home to Blood Root Valley, a serene park featuring ponds, wetlands, and hiking trails. Additionally, the vicinity to parks and recreational areas like Clove Lakes Park, Blue Heron Park, Willowbrook Park, Latourette Park & Golf Course, and Eibs Pond Park opens doors to a plethora of outdoor activities. Residents and visitors can indulge in fishing, boating, golfing, biking, birdwatching, and more, making Ward Hill a truly vibrant and engaging community.

Real Estate Overview

Ward Hill stands out as a unique neighborhood offering a wide variety of housing options and styles for both buyers and renters. It is distinguished by its stable and affordable housing market, featuring prices that are notably lower than the average across Staten Island and New York City.

Delve into the essential aspects of Ward Hill’s real estate landscapes:

Housing Types and Styles

Ward Hill is primarily a residential area, boasting a rich mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. This neighborhood effortlessly captures the architectural essence of different periods, presenting a distinctive character.

Highlighting some prominent housing types and styles in Ward Hill:

  • Victorian homes: Known for their elegance and spaciousness, these homes feature exquisite ornate details like turrets, porches, and bay windows. Notable Victorian homes in Ward Hill grace Nixon Avenue and Ward Avenue, with some dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Brick Colonials: These cozy and symmetrical homes are recognized for their brick exteriors and gabled roofs. A number of these enduring brick Colonials, constructed around the 1930s and 1940s, can be found along Van Duzer Street and Cebra Avenue.
  • Duplexes/Townhouses: Offering modern convenience, these homes feature multiple units within a single structure, often with shared walls but separate entrances. Clark Lane and Austin Place host duplexes and townhouses built mainly in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Apartments: These comfortable living spaces, suitable for budget-friendly lifestyles, comprise one or more rooms within larger buildings, often accompanied by shared amenities. Notably, 55 Austin Place stands as a six-story brick edifice housing 60 units.

Price Range and Housing Market Trends

Featuring a stable and reasonably priced housing market, Ward Hill continues to offer prices significantly below the average for Staten Island and New York City. According to 2020 data from Point2, the median sale price in Ward Hill was $500,000, marking a 9.1% decrease from Staten Island’s median ($550,000) and 37.5% less than New York City’s median ($800,000).

The median rent in Ward Hill was pegged at $1,723 in 2020, standing 6.6% lower than Staten Island’s median rent ($1,845) and 42.9% below New York City’s median rent ($3,021).

The housing market trends highlight Ward Hill as a seller’s market, characterized by low inventory and high demand. As reported by Compass, by May 2, 2024, there were 10 homes on the market, with an average listing price of $789,978. Available homes ranged from a $369,000 two-bedroom apartment at 55 Austin Place to a $1,288,888 eight-bedroom townhouse at 492 Van Duzer Street. The average days on the market were 48 days, shorter than Staten Island (58 days) and New York City averages (67 days).

Transportation and Accessibility

Ward Hill stands out as a well-connected and easily accessible neighborhood in Staten Island, offering seamless connectivity to the broader New York City area. It boasts a diversified array of transportation modes for both residents and visitors, encompassing public transit, roads, bridges, and ferry services.

Key highlights of Ward Hill’s transportation and accessibility include:

  • Public Transit: The neighborhood benefits from the Staten Island Railway, which spans the east coast of the island, ensuring a direct connection to the Staten Island Ferry at St. George Terminal. Notably, Ward Hill hosts two railway stations, Stapleton and Tompkinsville, both conveniently positioned within a short stroll from the area. Moreover, Ward Hill enjoys coverage by multiple bus routes, including the S51, S52, S74, S76, S78, and S81, offering both local and express services across different neighborhoods and boroughs.
  • Roads and Bridges: Proximity to vital thoroughfares such as Victory Boulevard, Bay Street, and Richmond Terrace is a significant advantage, providing effortless connectivity across the island and to the rest of New York City. The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, a critical link to Brooklyn, facilitates access to the Belt Parkway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, further enhancing mobility.
  • Ferries: A mere stone’s throw from Ward Hill, the Staten Island Ferry presents a complimentary and frequent transit service to Lower Manhattan. Operating round-the-clock, the ferry completes the journey across New York Harbor in approximately 25 minutes, offering passengers spectacular views of landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline.

In essence, Ward Hill epitomizes convenience and accessibility, whether for daily commutes, social visits, or city explorations. With its extensive range of transportation facilities, it stands as an exceptionally livable and appealing neighborhood.

Community Events and Activities

Ward Hill, a neighborhood known for its vibrant and diverse community, offers an array of events and activities throughout the year. From cultural festivals and parades to workshops and fairs, Ward Hill showcases its rich heritage and promotes community engagement.

Highlighted below are some of the key events and activities available in Ward Hill:

  • The Ward Hill Block Party: An annual celebration of the neighborhood and its residents, featuring live music, delicious food, fun games, and a lively parade. This block party takes place on Nixon Avenue between Ward Avenue and Van Duzer Street, usually in June.
  • The Good Festival: A celebration of local artists, entrepreneurs, and community organizations making a positive impact. With live performances, workshops, vendor booths, and exhibits, the festival is a testament to the neighborhood’s vibrancy, held at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in April.
  • The Wyckoff Memorial Day Parade: A heartwarming parade paying tribute to the nation’s veterans and fallen heroes, featuring marching bands, floats, and patriotic displays. This event occurs on Memorial Day, starting from Wyckoff Avenue and concluding at the Wyckoff Reformed Church.
  • The Right from the Source: Myth-Busting Disabilities: An empowering workshop aimed at debunking common myths and stereotypes about disability. Led by individuals with disabilities sharing their stories and experiences, the workshop is held in May at Wagner College, fostering understanding and empowerment.

Ward Hill is a welcoming neighborhood that offers rich experiences for those eager to learn, enjoy, and connect with a diverse and dynamic community. With its wide variety of events and activities, there’s something for everyone to discover and enjoy.

Safety and Security

Ward Hill is a neighborhood renowned for its high level of safety and security for both residents and visitors alike. The community prides itself on its low crime rate, robust police presence, and warm, supportive environment. Below, we delve into the key aspects that contribute to the safety and security in Ward Hill:

  • Crime Rate: Ward Hill boasts a crime rate that is 62% lower than the national average, as reported by CrimeGrade.org. The neighborhood is awarded an A+ crime safety grade, positioning it as one of the safest locales in Staten Island. With a total crime figure of 939 per 100,000 people, it significantly undercuts both the Staten Island average (1,603) and the broader New York City figure (2,066). Notably, the neighborhood sees a reduced risk of both property and violent crimes, including burglary, robbery, assault, and murder.
  • Police Presence: The 120th Precinct of the New York Police Department (NYPD) serves Ward Hill, located at 78 Richmond Terrace. This precinct oversees the north shore of Staten Island, encompassing Ward Hill along with other neighborhoods such as St. George, Tompkinsville, Stapleton, and New Brighton. Staffed by 282 officers and 25 civilians, the precinct diligently patrols the area and swiftly responds to emergencies. Furthermore, it boasts specialized units such as a community affairs unit, a crime prevention unit, and a domestic violence unit, which offer a variety of services and programs tailored to the community’s needs.
  • Community Support: An unmistakable sense of community spirit and mutual support defines Ward Hill. Various organizations and groups, including the Ward Hill Civic Association, the Ward Hill Neighborhood Watch, and the Ward Hill Block Association, champion safety and security initiatives. These groups orchestrate meetings, events, and activities that bolster community engagement, awareness, and cooperation, maintaining close ties with the police and other pertinent entities to tackle any emerging issues or concerns effectively.

Ward Hill is a safe and secure neighborhood known for its low crime rates, visible police presence, and strong community support. It’s a great choice for those looking for a safe place to live or visit.

Pros and Cons of Living in Ward Hill

Ward Hill boasts a mix of affordable housing, green spaces, and a suburban vibe, capturing the interest of many individuals. However, amidst its allure, potential residents and visitors should weigh the limitations such as scarce public transportation, a sense of isolation, and restricted employment prospects.

Here, we delve into the nuanced pros and cons of residing in Ward Hill:

  • Pros:
    • Quiet neighborhoods: Ward Hill ushers in peace and charm with its low crime rates, amicable community, and historic dwellings. It’s a haven for those yearning to flee the city’s clamor, providing a serene and picturesque retreat.
    • Value for Money: Boasting diverse housing options and a stable market, Ward Hill’s real estate prices are significantly less than both Staten Island’s and New York City’s averages. With a median home value of $500,000, it stands 37.5% lower than New York City’s $800,000.
    • Convenient Commutes: Connectivity is a strong suit for Ward Hill, facilitating easy travels to and from Staten Island and the wider New York City. Public transit, alongside roads, bridges, and the Staten Island Ferry, ensures Ward Hill residents are merely minutes away from Lower Manhattan.
    • Laid-back Nightlife: For nightlife enthusiasts, Ward Hill provides a spectrum of bars, restaurants, cafes, and theaters, especially near St. George Terminal. It’s not just about nightlife; the neighborhood vibrates with cultural festivals and events, fostering community spirit.
  • Cons:
    • Cost of Living: Despite being more affordable than many New York boroughs, Ward Hill’s living expenses exceed the national average. Factors such as groceries, utilities, and transportation contribute to a higher cost of living index, not to mention the taxing tax rates.
    • Limited Subway Access: The absence of subway stations in Ward Hill presents a challenge for accessing other city areas. The Staten Island Railway and bus services are the primary modes of transport, which can be less reliable during rush hours and adverse weather conditions.
    • Bracing Winters: Ward Hill feels the full force of the seasons, with winters bringing higher-than-average snowfall and temperatures that can dip to 26°F in January. Snowstorms and icy roads add to the winter woes, impacting transportation and living conditions.
    • Smaller Population and Opportunities: As part of Staten Island, Ward Hill belongs to New York City’s smallest and least populated borough. This contributes to a scarcity of job opportunities, cultural venues, and entertainment options, further compounded by limited attention from both the city government and the media.

Ward Hill presents a balanced look at urban living through its perks of affordability and tranquility, against the backdrop of accessibility challenges and economic constraints. Before making Ward Hill your home, consider these aspects carefully to ensure it aligns with your lifestyle and needs.


Ward Hill is an ideal choice for those searching for a serene and attractive place to reside. This neighborhood boasts a unique combination of natural splendor, historical allure, and city-like convenience, catering to a wide range of preferences.

It offers a stable and budget-friendly housing market, countless amenities and services, and a lively and varied community. On the flip side, potential drawbacks include limited public transit options, a sense of seclusion, and a scarcer job market.

Hence, it’s crucial to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of settling in Ward Hill before coming to a definitive conclusion.

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