SOYO is where the Saw Mill River flows into the mighty Hudson. Today the new river park is a place of greenery and beauty. But, just a few short years ago what’s now Van der Donck Park was paved over with a river hidden beneath. The parking lot became paradise as the park emerged around an ecologically healthy tributary. Then SOYO became home to two waterfronts; the graceful Saw Mill feeding the powerful Hudson. In SOYO it’s so easy to have a river view.
Until now, only stalwart adventurers glimpsed the Saw Mill River from Mill Street. But the promise of the river has been realized in Phase II of the daylighting that is exposing 100 feet of the Saw Mill River and creating an adjacent European-style public piazza. A pedestrian walkway will connect Van der Donck Park with the new piazza across Warburton Avenue, a connection made possible by the demolition of 24 Warburton, contributed by Rising Development.
When New York was still New Amsterdam, there was Yonkers. Founded in 1646 by Adrian Van der Donck, early inland Yonkers was agricultural and bucolic, but the waterfront, where SOYO now sits, was a hub of industrial innovation. Site of the Otis Elevator Company’s factory, SOYO lays claims to the first safety elevator. SOYO also played an important part in other Yonkers innovations such as the first FM radio, first elevated train and early plastics. SOYO is also the home to the starting and finishing lines of the country’s second oldest marathon.