From 1851 the New York and Hudson Railroad, running along the east shore of the river, offered a connection between Manhattan and a stop at Riverdale-on-Hudson, today's 254th Street. The ridge above the station filled with the estates of wealthy commuters. Greyston (1864), Alderbrook (1880), Stonehurst (1861), and Oaklawn (1863) are mansions which survive; there's also a Riverdale Historic District, calling attention to houses which were once the outbuildings and carriage houses of the grand estates. A bridge and parkway connection to Manhattan brought new houses, smaller but not less opulent, in the decade before World War II. Today, many of the original estates have been sold or donated to institutions - the Wave Hill Center for Environmental Studies, Riverdale Country School and the Greyston Conference Center, among others.

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