Learn more about Todt Hill
Todt Hill (elevation 410 ft (125 m)) is a small mountain ridge on Staten Island, New York. It is the highest natural point in the five boroughs of New York City, and Staten Islanders claim it is the highest point on the eastern seaboard of the United States south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is largely covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt, although much of the surrounding area is developed and residential.
The name Todt comes from the Dutch word for "dead" and refers to the cemetery (the present Moravian Cemetery) on the southwestern foot of the ridge near the town of New Dorp that has been in use since colonial days. It is pronounced "Tote" [as in tote bag] by the natives although newcomers often mispronounce it as "Todd" or "Toad".
The term Todt Hill is now often used to include the upscale developments in the hills along the eastern side of the ridge, which most island geographers classify as part of the neighborhood of Dongan Hills.
Two small, natural ponds are found on Todt Hill, and a Roman Catholic priory is located near the summit. The long established Staten Island Academy, a private school, moved its campus to Todt Hill in the 1960s. There is a golf course adjoining the Moravian Cemetery, each of which has a man-made pond. Otherwise the hill is either parkland or private homes. There is no public transit available on Todt Hill, and most of the streets lack sidewalks.
Residents on Todt Hill are among the wealthiest on Staten Island. Former New York Mets relief pitcher John Franco lived on the hill for his stay with the Mets from the early 1990s to 2005, and the late Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano lived there as well, in a house noted for tiny windows.