Bedford is a town of 18,000 in Westchester County, New York. Within the town limits are three hamlets: Bedford Village, Bedford Hills, and Katonah. Each hamlet offers a bucolic lifestyle with the amenities of estate living and easy access to New York City.
Katonah lies on the northern edge of the town of Bedford; its population is a little over 2,000. The hamlet is named for the First Nations chief who sold the land to a group of English colonists in the late 17th century. Bedford Village has about the same population as Katonah and is in the southeastern part of town. Bedford Village is most noted for its historic district, containing 80 buildings representing Greek Revival and Gothic Revival styles within the boundaries of the original hamlet founded in 1680. Bedford Hills is in the western part of the town of Bedford, just south of Katonah. Bedford Hills has the largest population of the three hamlets at about 4,000.
Most of the residents of Bedford Hills are in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic (51 percent), city-commuting professionals raising families in the suburbs. The second largest demographic is the under-17 age group (31 percent), the school-age set. The seven public schools in Bedford Hills, served by the Bedford Central School District, are highly rated—receiving A’s across the board from Niche, the data research company that reviews and ranks communities and schools across the United States.
The median home value in Bedford Hills, at nearly US$500,000, is well above the national average. Unlike most of the bedroom communities populated by Manhattan commuters, the majority of residents (64 percent) rent their homes. The median rent (US$1,375 per month) also is above the national average (US$950).
There are properties for sale in all price ranges, with luxury homes on large acreages found along winding Bedford Center Road in the US$2 million range. The most featured architectural style are the stone and shingle estates sitting behind long gated drives. The interiors are stately, with formal living and dining rooms, wood paneling, four to five bedrooms and at least as many bathrooms. On Harris Road, one of Bedford Hills’ grandest stone and shingle country manors is available for US$8 million. It sits on a 28-acre lot that fronts the Beaver Dam River. Along Saw Mill River Parkway, most of the homes fall in the median price range for Bedford Hills. Those tend to be smaller two- to three-bedroom homes featuring wood-sided Cape Cod architectural styles. The farther from Saw Mill River Parkway, the larger the lot, the home, and the price tag.
While most commuters into Manhattan go by car (74 percent) via Interstate 684, the commute via the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line from the Bedford Hills station in the center of the hamlet takes only 20 minutes longer, about an hour and 20 minutes to Grand Central Terminal.
Perhaps the best thing to do in Bedford Hills is—if you live there—enjoy the quietude. If you enjoy outdoor activities and sports and natural flora and fauna, all can be experienced at the Bedford Hills Memorial Park. The park offers baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, hiking trails, and a swimming pool. And frogs, turtles, and beavers can be spotted at the pond in their natural habitats.
Restaurants offering a variety of cuisines and atmospheres, from fine dining to bistros, can be found in and near Bedford Hills, along Bedford Road from Bedford Village to Katonah. A variety of shops, including local boutiques offering vintage clothing, home accessories, jewelry, candles, and gifts, are situated along Bedford Road and Saw Mill River Parkway.
There are so many notable past and current residents of the three hamlets that comprise the town of Bedford, they are too numerous to mention; however, the most noteworthy names include Chevy Chase, actor and comedian; Glenn Close, actress; Michael Douglas, actor and producer; Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress; Richard Gere, actor; Carl Icahn, business mogul; George Soros, investor and philanthropist; Paul Shaffer, David Letterman’s musical sidekick and musician; Bruce Willis, actor and producer; Martha Stewart, entrepreneur and television personality; Ralph Lauren, fashion designer; and Lois and Bill Wilson (deceased), the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Stepping Stones Foundation.
Bedford and the three hamlets of Bedford Village, Bedford Hills, and Katonah are among the premier bedroom communities of Westchester County for professionals who want the solitude and grace of a country lifestyle, with easy access to all New York City offers.
21 percent of residents hold a Master of Arts degree or higher
17 percent of residents hold a 4-year college degree