About Arden Heights, Staten Island
In 1657, thirty-three year old Robert Bedell departed his home in England to live in New York. Here, he settled on Long Island, where he raised about one dozen children with his wife, Blanche King. While Robert Bedell may have been the first to come to New York, it is not him we are interested in at the moment. It is actually his grandson, Joseph Bedell, who is more significant at the moment. Joseph Bedell was born in Long Island in 1698. As a middle-aged man, he traveled to Staten Island, where he, too, raised a family with his wife, Hannah Dissoway.
Joseph Bedell and Hannah Dissoway settled in the area known as Marshland, which was the land around where the current Arthur Kill Road and Richmond Avenue meet. At some point between this time and the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, a house was built on the land. This house, in addition to the vast amount of property, stayed in the family for generations. It was built by either Joseph Bedell himself, or by his son, Joseph Bedell, Sr.
Through the generations, the Bedells were well known for their generosity. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, the residents of the Bedell house allowed the Indians to hold a peace conference there, which was between several different tribes of Indians. The house was used to shelter the chiefs, while the remaining Indians slept on the outside property in tepees. To honor the peace conference, the Indians would travel back to the site each year. The Bedells did not mind this, as they happily anticipated their arrival. During the American Revolutionary War, there were different guests who remained at the Bedell homestead. These guests were the British soldiers and, while they may not have been as pleasant as the Indians, they allowed the family to remain in the house during their stay. At that time, the house was occupied by Joseph Bedell, Jr.'s son, who was married to a Hetty Seguine and had the same name as his father.
As you may know, families often had large plots of land during the nineteenth century. Roughly one hundred years after the American Revolutionary War, the Bedells were not the only family living in the area. Other included members of the Benedict, Garretson, Jessup, Post, and Stuyvesant families. The Bedell house stood until about 1897. The last member of the family to reside in the house was Henry S. Bedell.
In 1876, the area of Marshland received a name change to Green Ridge. Roughly one decade later, however, the name was changed yet again. At this time, it was named by Staten Island real estate developer Erastus Wiman. As the story goes, he had named a wooded section as the Woods of Arden, after the Forest of Arden in Shakespeare's "As You Like It". Due to its location, the neighborhood previously known as Marshland and Green Ridge was named Arden Heights. In the northern section of the neighborhood, you can find the enormous Arden Heights Woods Park, which is just what its title implies.
There were no other big changes in the neighborhood until the end of the twentieth century, when Mayor John V. Lindsay announced that the City of New York was planning to erect its first large-scale planned-unit development on Staten Island. Obviously, this development was planned for the neighborhood of Arden Heights. At its completion, it was known as the Village Greens. This was due to the fact that each street had Green in it. Originally, there were to be nine "villages", where were among looped, one-way streets. However, money was short and only four of these villages were erected. Today, they are known as Carlyle Green, Forest Green, Dover Green, and Hampton Green.
This beautiful little community of Village Greens is served by the Village Greens shopping center, which was constructed at the same time as the housing development. Likewise, an elementary school and a common park were constructed to serve residents of the community. In this sixteen-acre park, you will find two Olympic-sized pools. The Village Greens Homeowners Association is in charge of the entire community.
During the early 1990s, another development was planned for the neighborhood of Arden Heights. The development was originally intended to house families of members who served in the United States Navy, but it proved to be unnecessary. Since housing had already been planned for the site, construction began in 1995. At the time of its completion, the site became known as Aspen Knolls. This development also houses different features aside from houses, such as the community center and playing fields. Today, the Aspen Knolls community has 944 single-family houses, making it one of Staten Island's largest housing developments.
There are a number of schools in and around the neighborhood which your children may attend. These include the public schools of P.S. 42, at 380 Genesee Avenue; I.S. 75, at 455 Huguenot Avenue; and Tottenville High School, at 100 Luten Avenue. Some of the Catholic schools in the area are the St. Clare School, at 151 Lindenwood Road; the Our Lady Star of the Sea School, at 5411 Amboy Road; and St. Joseph by the Sea High School, at 5150 Hylan Boulevard. In addition to these schools, there are also some private schools in the area, such as the Eltingville Lutheran School, at 300 Genesee Avenue; the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, at 3495 Richmond Road; and the Francis School, at 4240 Amboy Road.
In addition to the schools and many places to shop and eat, you also have a number of transportation options. There are three local buses and three express buses which travel through the neighborhood. The local buses are the s55, which travels down Annadale Road to either Rossville or to the Staten Island Mall; the s56, which will take you down Arden Avenue to either Huguenot or the Staten Island Mall; and the s74, which travels to either the St. George Ferry Terminal or to the Bricktown Mall via Arthur Kill Road. The express buses are the x17, the x19, and the x23. The x17A and x19 both travel into Lower Manhattan, while the x17C, the x17J, and the x23 all travel into Midtown Manhattan. The Eltingville Transit Center is right by Richmond Avenue, enabling you to transfer to a number of different buses. Aside from the buses, however, you also have the West Shore Expressway, which is just above Arthur Kill Road, above the neighborhood.