Yonkers in the Twentieth Century

By Marilyn E. Weigold & Yonkers Historical Society

Subjects: New York/regional, History
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438453927, 380 pages, January 2016
Hardcover : 9781438453934, 380 pages, December 2014

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

1. “Queen City of the Hudson”: Yonkers in the Early Twentieth Century
2. The Great War and Its Aftermath
3. Years of Pain and Glory: The Great Depression and World War II
4. The Remaking of Yonkers: The Postwar Years
photo gallery follows page 168
5. An Urban/Suburban Metropolis: Yonkers in the Sixties and Seventies
6. A City in Transition: Challenges and Opportunities in the Decade of the Eighties
7. Toward the Millennium: The Nineties
Bibliographic Note
Yonkers Speaks: Excerpts from Oral History Interviews

Traces the economic, political, and social evolution of New York State’s fourth largest city during the twentieth century.


Yonkers in the Twentieth Century chronicles the decline and rebirth of the fourth largest city in New York State, once known as "the Queen City of the Hudson" and "the City of Gracious Living. " Previously an industrial powerhouse, the city's factories turned out essential items that helped the United States win two world wars. Following World War II, the industrial base of Yonkers eroded as companies moved away, contributing to an increase in poverty. To address the housing needs of its low-income residents, Yonkers built public housing, resulting in a nearly thirty-year court case that, for the first time in United States history, linked school and housing segregation.

The case was finally settled in the early years of the twenty-first century, a time that also witnessed the continuation of the city's economic redevelopment efforts along the Hudson River and contiguous downtown area. Striving to once again become "the Queen City of the Hudson," Yonkers is being rebuilt beginning at its historic waterfront.

Marilyn E. Weigold is Professor of History at Pace University and the author of several books, including The Long Island Sound: A History of Its People, Places, and Environment. The Yonkers Historical Society is dedicated to saving the rich, diverse history of Yonkers. The Society maintains Sherwood House museum, advocates for the preservation of historic landmarks and neighborhoods, and promotes an appreciation of the city's unique heritage through its many programs, publications, and social media.


"…an important addition to historical accounts of the cities of Metropolitan New York and the Hudson Valley. " — Hudson River Valley Review

"…fascinating … [a] well-researched book. " — Hudson Valley Magazine

"Yonkers in the Twentieth Century provides readers an in-depth perspective of our city that has not yet been told. From the glory days at the dawn of the twentieth century to its later turbulent decades, Marilyn E. Weigold thoughtfully takes us through the vibrant history of our city, affording us the knowledge needed to appreciate our past so to best plan for our future. I encourage those who have an insatiable interest and pride in Yonkers to explore Weigold's comprehensive narrative and take a step back in time. " — Mike Spano, Mayor of the City of Yonkers

"Yonkers has such an interesting and vibrant history that it needs to be preserved and told. This book is a major accomplishment providing a comprehensive look at the life of the city and will leave a lasting legacy for residents, historians, and all those who appreciate and value knowing how we got to where we are today. " — James J. Landy, Chairman, Hudson Valley Bank