The community was incorporated as a village in the northern part of the Town of Yonkers in 1854 and as a city in 1872.
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It is an inner suburb of New York City, directly to the north of the Bronx and approximately two miles (3 km) north of the northernmost point in Manhattan.
Yonkers' downtown is centered on a plaza known as Getty Square, where the municipal government is located.
Still, some residents call the city "the Sixth Borough" referring to its location on the New York City border, its urban character, and the failed merger vote.
The New York City and Northern Railway Company (later the New York Central Railroad) connected Yonkers to Manhattan and points north from 1888.