7.9 out of 10

Purchase

41.0364366002119 -73.7112164152294
Great for
  • Schools
  • Internet Access
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Cost of Living
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"The Elegant Life in Purchase"

Purchase is a land of estates, multimillion dollar houses, two college campuses, several corporate parks, and a wonderful museum. It is quiet and low-key, and residents like it that way. They are willing to go to bat for their town, as they did in the early 1970s, and again in the past several years. 40 years ago, parent town Harrison’s pro-development Supervisor began inviting major corporations to build industrial parks, and with the most land to lose, Purchase residents were not amused. They decided to secede and incorporate as a village, and thus have more control over their own destiny. Unfortunately, the presiding Supervisor managed to avoid being served the papers which would have started the legal proceedings, and instead incorporated part of the town of Harrison as a village. This ended Purchase’s hope of becoming a village, as legally a village cannot be formed from another village.

The result is the “Platinum Mile,” a string of corporate office parks along I-287. PepsiCo, at least, has a sculpture garden, with 40 works by artists such as Rodin, Calder, and Nevelson, which is open to the public. Altruism only goes so far, though, as the town must pay for the upkeep of the park, which is not cheap.

Purchase residence recently went through another real estate battle, with a developer who wanted to take beautiful open land and turn it into yet another golf course (Purchase’s sixth) combined with a Monopoly board of McMansions. Unfortunately residents lost, which, as usual, will mean that their taxes will go up, while the developer destroys their land and makes out like a bandit.

Aside from all this behind-the-scenes turmoil, though, Purchase is normally a tranquil place. It is the home of Manhattanville College, located on the 700-acre former estate of Whitelaw Reid, publisher of the New York Tribune, and now on the National Register of Historic Places; SUNY Purchase; and Keio Academy, a high school affiliated with Keio Academy in Tokyo.

The Neuberger Museum, which features mostly contemporary works of art, is in Purchase. There are a few restaurants, but most people go to Rye, Greenwich, or White Plains for shopping and entertainment.

This is a genteel yet busy area, as would befit a place so close to New York City. The Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95 are easily accessed, and a Metro North stop and the Westchester County airport are both in Harrison.

Thanks to the tax base, the schools and their facilities are excellent. There are four public elementary schools in Harrison, one middle school and one high school (one of the elementary schools is in Purchase.) There are 8 parks totaling 80 acres, with playgrounds, basketball courts, pools, and a bocce court.

St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester, part of St. Joseph’s medical center, is located in right in Harrison, as is the Scarsdale Medical Group.

For residents who don't have their own entertainment center, Harrison’s Recreation Department is both active and creative. Besides the regular array of sports teams, they offer ballroom dancing, drawing and cartoon making, pottery painting, a Lego class, and the chance to learn Italian, in whatever age group you may be. There are spring egg hunts, Halloween programs, summer concerts, sports tournaments, and, with a nod to the large and close-knit Italian community, an “It’s great to live in Harrison/Columbus Day Celebration” which is held in October. There are two community centers, the Sollazzo Center and the Leo Mintzer Center, both splendidly equipped to keep everyone from toddlers to teenagers to senior citizens busy and occupied.

The Harrison Youth Council provides educational programs, parent support groups, counseling, consultation, and referral to families dealing with drug and alcohol problems, collaborating with the schools and professionals to achieve their mission.

If you can afford the price tag, life is good in Purchase.
Pros
  • Exceptional colleges with cultural activities
  • Great school system
  • Great day camp
  • on bus route
Cons
  • Wealthy and isolated
  • no shopping
  • no night life
  • Not affordable for most homebuyers
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Not your average college town..."

Purchase is a hamlet in the Town of Harrison, Westchester County. It’s small in size and in population, with fewer than 4,000 residents. Both the town and the hamlet have a great deal of history dating back to the American Revolution.

The hamlet is home to two colleges, Manhattanville College, a small private liberal arts school and the public Purchase College which is part of the SUNY system. The Neuberger Museum, which is open to the public and exhibits primarily contemporary art, is located on the Purchase College campus. Long Island University Hudson also uses the SUNY Purchase campus for its graduate studies program.

The corporate headquarters of PepsiCo and MasterCard International’s Global Headquarters are located on large campuses in Purchase. The grounds of PepsiCo feature the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden. This space is open to the public and has 45 works of outdoor sculpture.
There is not very much to do in Purchase; it’s a quiet town of mostly large, sprawling luxury homes. Rye is nearby, with stores and restaurants. The city of White Plains and The Westchester mall is a short ride away with a bigger variety of upscale shopping. As Purchase sits near the New York-Connecticut border, Greenwich is a nearby choice for shopping, dining and culture.

Purchase does have a couple restaurant choices; there’s the unpretentious Cobble Stone, which seems to be frequented most often by faculty and staff from the two area colleges. Trattoria 632, formerly known as the Full Moon Trattoria, has excellent Italian food and a beautiful interior.

While the hamlet may seem isolated, it’s actually got good highway availability, being near the Hutchinson River and Merritt Parkways and Interstate 87. There is no Metro-North station in Purchase, but nearby Harrison has a station with travel time running about 40 minutes to Grand Central Station.

Purchase appears to be a lovely place to live, if you can afford the price tag.
Pros
  • Well-kept and clean
  • Exceptional colleges with cultural activities
  • Great school system
Cons
  • Not affordable for most homebuyers
  • Wealthy and isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Ritzy enclave with major corporate players and two culturally-diverse colleges"

Purchase is a very wealthy hamlet in the town of Harrison, NY and looks it with many gorgeous homes and sweeping estates tucked in the low-key and green sub-urban landscape. Purchase is home to Purchase College, a wonderful liberal arts institution that is part of the greater public SUNY system, as well as the more expensive private Manhattanville Collge with its equally fine liberal arts program.

Westchester County Airport, a smaller scale but pleasant and relatively busy national hub is located in Purchase. MasterCard's Global Headquarters and PepsiCo, which has a stunning sculpture garden that is open to the public, are situated in Purchase, as well. However, what is open to the public, is the enchanting art collection at the Neuberger Museum located in the center of the Purchase College campus.

Another campus treasure is Purchase College's outstanding performing arts center which has a rich and varied program filled to the brim with chamber orchestra concerts, dance troupes like Martha Graham, exceptional musicals and plays and high quality films. They have also played host to major musical singers and acts including Shawn Colvin.

The Purchase Community House is a terrific local resource and holds the acclaimed Purchase Day Camp and also boasts excellent after-school activities throughout the school year. The Purchase Community House property has four gleaming pools and several nice playing fields.

Notable and popular restaurants and cafes in the Purchase area include Starbucks, China White Noodle Bar, Jordan's Hilltop Bar and Restaurant, Purchase Deli, Full Moon Restaurant and the charming Cobble Stone Restaurant with its stained glass windows. There are also the occasional hot dog trucks perched here and there on Anderson Hill Road, the main thoroughfare that leads from Purchase College down onto Westchester Ave in White Plains. And speaking of White Plains, the ten minute drive or bus commute there will have residents and students alike fully sated by culinary and shopping possibilities.

Harrison High School is very good. The average SAT score is 1600 and a reported 98% of its high school students do go on to attend college.

The median household income is $183,686. The median home value is $750,00 and apartments are hard to come by. Most students, if not living on campus, live in downtown White Plains or Port Chester where apartments are more readily available.

Purchase has a predominantly white population of approximately 3,500 people.
Pros
  • Exceptional colleges with cultural activities
  • Great day camp
  • Great school system
Cons
  • Wealthy and isolated
  • no shopping
5/5
2yrs+

"A Day at the PepsiCo Gardens"

While the other reviews about Purchase provide great insight into the area for people who are considering residence there, I thought I would provide the perspective of someone visiting the town on a day trip. Purchase is home to one of PepsiCo, Inc.’s offices, whose extensive grounds make up the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden. This garden, which is open to the public free of charge, is truly a gift to both the residents of Purchase and visitors from elsewhere in the county. The gardens at PepsiCo are located on Anderson Hill Road, directly across from the Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, and are easy to get to from the Hutchinson River Parkway.

I visited the gardens recently with my friends, and we spent a pleasant few hours walking along the winding gravel paths which led us from sculpture to sculpture. Many other families also took advantage of the sunny weather to explore the gardens. Children ran across the open lawn and fed the ducks paddling in the pond, and dogs trotted along next to their owners. People ate their lunches at the benches and tables that are provided for picnickers.

Some of the cherry trees were just starting to bloom when we visited. Although most of the other trees and bushes were still dormant, they will reawaken into full color as the weather gets warmer. The landscape, though still stark, interacts with the art to provide visitors with a very different viewing experience with each piece. Certain sculptures are obscured behind a copse of trees or are nestled among bushes, which gives the viewer a sense of privacy or intimacy with the work; while other pieces stand tall for all to see in the middle of wide, open spaces, which allows the visitor to perceive the viewing of art as a public or communal experience.

The changing of the gardens with the seasons will, of course, also impact one’s perception of the sculptures, so I will be sure to visit again when the plants are in full bloom. The residents of Purchase are very fortunate to have such a treasure so close to home!
Anjanette
Anjanette Oh wow, I used to visit the gardens all the time when I was young. Someone told me they were closed to the public now! I guess I was misinformed. Thanks for this update! Great news!!!
2yrs+
Add a comment...
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Wealthy College Town in a Quiet, Leafy Community"

Purchase, NY is a beautiful little hamlet within the village of Harrison, NY. Its neighboring towns and cities are White Plains, Rye and Greenwhich, Connecticut. Purchase was once owned by the Sinoway Native American tribe, but was overrun by the Quakers during the 1600’s. It is now home to many peaceful gated communities with prices of homes ranging over a million. The most expensive colonial structures can be found in the Lincoln Rise community with the highest price reaching $3 million. It’s a relatively expensive place to live.

Purchase is a very quiet area. The main attraction here are the hamlet’s two colleges: world-renowned SUNY Purchase and Manhattanville College. SUNY Purchase is a prestigious Performing Arts college, offering degrees in anything from dancing to anthropology, including of course the maths and sciences. It’s famous for its music conservitory and its Arts and Design facilities. You can continue your education here part-time or full-time, and you can also go to the Long Island University branch on the campus for different graduate programs, in addition to what SUNY Purchase has to offer. As an alumni who lived here on campus, the dorm rooms are great if you want to live in a single or double, and the community of dorms known as the “New" feel like little condos where up to five students can live in comfortably, complete with your own kitchen with all the amenities and living room with tv o boot. Manhattanville is known for its outstanding Liberal Arts degrees and Graduate programs. It’s got great track and fields and the scenery is lovely.

While Purchase is kind of closed off from civilization, there are excellent restaurants to eat at, mostly near the two campuses. There’s a Starbucks on the Purchase campus that students and visitors alike can enjoy. Don’t forget to visit the Neuburger Museum while you’re at Purchase! There’s always new exhibits but they have year-round exhibits as well. Take your proud parents to eat at the Cobblestone for traditional American, or have a tasty noodle bowl at China White Noodle Bar. You can always grab a delicious sandwich at the Purchase Deli, which has been a staple there for ages.

Kids will have a great education at Purchase, where scores are above the state’s average. There’s a wonderful Day Camp at the hamlet’s Community Center, where you can learn anything from Archery to woodcutting. There’s a great pool and you’ll have the chance to perform in front of your friends if you’d like. The Purchase Free Library, while pretty small, hosts one of the greatest books and video selections I’ve ever seen in Westchester County.

Purchase is near several private clubs, like the Old Oaks Country Club or the Golf Club of Purchase. Take a stroll along the campus grounds of either Purchase or Manhattanville. You’ll see lots of statues and artistic structures at Purchase, and the scenery is always changing. The Pepsi Company, right across the street from the Purchase campus, has the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden, a 168-acre spot, complete with a small duck pond. There’s also the West Harrison Memorial Park, which offers tennis and basketball courts, paddle boating and swimming, and even boccie (an Italian version of bowling, using balls made out of wood).

Kids will have a great education in Purchase, and it’s a safe place to raise them, too. Scores are above average in Purchase. There’s also the choice of having your kids attend an alternative high school (Purchase Magnet Academy), which offers smaller classes, more focused attention by teachers. They’ll have a better chance of getting needs met and gifts and talents acknowledged, and classes area actually taught by college professors, and kids often come from other school districts as well.

There’s not a lot of stores in Purchase, but you’ll find the Athlete’s Foot shoe store and Gamers, visit Gamesandspace, where’ you’ll find used games at a great price (under $4.oo)! Grocery stores can be found in nearby Dobbs Ferry (Shop Rite) and Thornwood, NY (Stop & Shop).

Purchase---while pricey---is a comfortable place to live for those who can afford it. You’ll want to have a car, and if you need to take the train, your best bet is to take the car, bus or taxi to White Plains. (It’s about 40 to 45 minutes by train; about 50 to an hour by car, depending on traffic.) For a fun night out on the town, you'll want to travel the short 10 or 20 minutes to White Plains, which has lots of awesome clubs and restaurants.
Pros
  • on bus route
  • Exceptional colleges with cultural activities
  • Great day camp
  • Great school system
Cons
  • no night life
  • no shopping
  • Wealthy and isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish

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