From the northeast to the southwest, you will find a range of hills, which is commonly referred to as Staten Island’s “backbone.” During the 1830’s, a lawyer from Massachusetts, William Emerson, visited the Island. Emerson immediately fell in love with it and moved from his home in Concord to a community on one of Staten Island’s hills, known as Dutch Farms and purchased an old house that had been built prior to the Revolution.
William’s brother, the famed poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, would often visit from his home in Massachusetts. During one of his visits, he named William’s house “The Snuggery”. During the early twentieth century, Cornelius G. Kolff dedicated much of his time to Staten Island. He was the President, Secretary, trustee, founder, and leader of many organizations on Staten Island. Some of the institutions he was involved in were the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, the Parks Association, and the Staten Island Historical Society. Aside from these, Cornelius G. Kolff was a prominent real estate developer. Staten Island’s “backbone” was developed during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.
Cornelius G. Kolff, a fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work, named the hill upon which William Emerson resided as “Emerson Hill.” The community of Emerson Hill takes up about three square acres of Staten Island, much of it being made up of flora. To the north of Emerson Hill, you will find the Staten Island Expressway, which separates it from Grymes Hill. To the south of the neighborhood, you will find Todt Hill, another upscale community located on a hill in Staten Island’s proverbial hilled “backbone”. Today, Emerson hill is one of Staten Island’s luxury home communities. Its homes and neighborhood character are similar to that of Grymes Hill. The neighborhood is extremely secluded, with a variety of tress, predominantly oak and maples, that can eclipse 60 feet with ease.
The home styles range from classic English Tudors, to Federal Style, and even some more modern Center Hall Colonials make up a majority of the Emerson Hill landscape. If you’re looking for Older Style homes, you will find most to the southern side of the neighborhood, with the newer Spanish Villa Style Colonial in Emerson Hill home construction taking shape on the northern side. Oddly enough access to each side of Emerson Hill is not possible directly through the community and takes some navigating to get to one side or the other. Consequently, the limited access seems like a fundamental barrier from Emerson Hills more modern community from it older more established side. The neighborhood is one of the most picturesque, tree shaded communities in Staten Island with incredible vistas that span from New York Harbor to the Highlands of New Jersey across the Raritan Bay.
If you’re in the market to purchase a luxury home, the secluded hill of Emerson Hill is one place to look, or rather than overlook.
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