About Todt Hill, Staten Island
Though Todt Hill may be one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City, it is a very private and friendly community. People who live here tend to donate to charities and do volunteer work quite often. Todt Hill is one several Staten Island's luxury home communities along with Southeast Annadale, Grymes Hill, Emerson Hill. When it comes to Staten Island real estate sales it's not uncommon to see homes break into the highest priced home sales in New York City.
The hill itself is the highest point of elevation in New York City, being 410 feet above sea level. Being so secluded, there are no modes of public transportation in the area. Likewise, there are few sidewalks.
Over the centuries, the origin of Todt Hill's name has been greatly confused. There are three very well-known origins. Morris's Memorial History of Staten Island recalls an article from August 30, 1856's Staten Islander, who had stated that Todt Hill's name was once called "Todt of Death Hill". During the early battles with the Indians and the Dutch, many of the Dutch were killed on the hill, hence the name. There was a reply to this article in the next issue of the Staten Islander, which gives our second possible origin. This version states that the name "Todt Hill" came from a supposed anecdote. Apparently, a girl had put a toad in the pocket of a boy who had been bothering her on the hill. After word got out about this incident, children who came to the hill would joke with their friends, warning them to check their pockets on "Toad Hill".
The third possible origin was explained in Holden's Staten Island, 1964. The book states that Todt Hill was first called "Yserberg", which translates roughly to "Iron Hill", because of Dutch influence. The reason for this is that centuries ago, much iron was found on what is now Todt Hill. The area of Todt Hill was created by a glacier. When the glacier started to abate, much of the iron ore was unearthed. In the mid-1600's, the Dutch started mining the iron ore. The process was done in a much simpler way, considering the iron was not underground. The smooth golf course of the Richmond County Country Club was actually a result of this mining. The mining stopped during the late 1800's, when it started to become less profitable than having iron imported.
During the Revolutionary War, the British used Todt Hill as a lookout and signal station. This was convenient because you are able to see for miles. After World War II ended, a receiving station for a radio-telephone network was opened. This was used to communicate with ships and vehicles with radio-telephone service, as well as the police and fire department.
There have been many famous landmarks on Todt Hill throughout the years. However, several mansions and buildings there have been either replaced or reoccupied. Ernest Flagg, an architect who would use the serpentine rock from Todt Hill for his buildings, had his mansion occupied by the St. Charles Seminary once he passed away. Edward Stettinius Jr., vice-president of General Motors, chairman of the board of U.S. Steel, and later Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, lived on Todt Hill. His mansion is now used by the Staten Island Academy. One landmark that is still available to go to is the Moravian Cemetery, which opened in 1740. Here, you can see the Vanderbilt Tomb which, in the United States, is the largest private tomb.
(Photo Above) Richmond County Country Club and Golf Course on Todt Hill, Staten Island
As stated, there is no public transportation on Todt Hill. Just as well, there are no stores, restaurants or apartments. The area consists of either grass or private homes, all of which are custom-built. To the north of the neighborhood, you will find the Staten Island Expressway, which will take you to Brooklyn. To the northeast, you will find quite a few schools: P.S.11, P.S.29, I.S.2, I.S.27, and Wagner College, with the College of Staten Island to the east. You will also come across Clove Lakes Park and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal if you travel a bit farther. To the southwest, you will find the Staten Island Mall, as well as many other stores. Finally, to the south, you will find the Staten Island Academy as well as the Richmond County Country Club, the only privately-owned golf course in New York City, which also has a tennis court, fitness center, and nature center. Zip Codes in Todt Hill, Staten Island are 10306, 10301 and 10304.