When 6sqft met with Herb Glaser, the third-generation co-owner of Yorkville’s 116-year-old German bakery Glaser’s, he attributed the business’ longevity to the fact that his grandfather “had the foresight and the ability to buy the building that we are in.” So it came as a bit of a surprise when we learned over the weekend that the beloved bake shop will be closing its doors this summer. A bittersweet Facebook post stated that “After many years of daunting hours and hard work, the third generation of bakers have come to the difficult decision to hang up their bakers’ hat and move towards retirement.”
96th Street entrance to the Second Avenue Subway, via MTA/Flickr
On Valentine’s Day, The Source, a long-running store on Third Avenue that sold everything from stationary and household cleaning products to cards and candles, closed its doors for good. Since early January, when the owner hung a going-out-of-business sign in his window, he had been telling Upper East Siders shoppers that he was shutting down for two reasons: rising rents but the drastic decline in business brought about by the Second Avenue Subway’s opening in January 2017. Although one might assume that a business like The Source is really a victim of Amazon and the rise of other online retailers, the increasing vacancy rates along Third and Lexington Avenues on the Upper East Side over the past year appear to confirm his speculation. As much as the Second Avenue Subway has been good news for businesses in Yorkville, its opening seems to have dealt a devastating blow to businesses located just west of the new line.
In October, 6sqft reported that Barack and Michelle Obama had been spotted on their way to view a listing in Yorkville’s 10 Gracie Square. At the time, it was speculated that they checked out a five-bedroom duplex that had gone into contract for $10 million shortly following the visit. The buyer wasn’t confirmed, but the unit has now closed for $9.64 million (h/t Katherine Clarke), purchased through a “Gracie Square Revocable Trust. So while it’s still not confirmed that the Obamas are moving to the Upper East Side, the building is one of New York City’s most prestigious addresses, located just a stone’s throw away from the Mayor’s residence and over the years attracting the likes of Alexander Woollcott, conductor Andre Kostelanetz, Gloria Vanderbilt and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek.
This Yorkville townhouse at 433 East 85th Street manages to strike the right balance between historic and modern. The home was built in the 1880s, according to the listing, but it has hit the market for the first time since a major renovation. Prewar details like wood-burning fireplaces and moldings are complemented by impressive new finishes of imported Calacatta Gold, marble glass mosaics, and natural limestone. And the backyard was totally redone, now decked out with 700 square feet of comfortable outdoor space. It’s all asking $6.5 million.
All photographs © James and Karla Murray for 6sqft
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring Glaser’s Bake Shop, a 115-year-old German bakery in Yorkville.Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
In the early 20th century, New York’s German immigrants relocated from the East Village to the Upper East Side neighborhood of Yorkville, which soon became known as Germantown. The community was so culturally rich, that German was spoken more than English in this area. 86th Street was dubbed “Sauerkraut Boulevard” and was lined with German butchers, restaurants, and bakeries. After the dismantling of the Second and Third Avenue elevatrated trains in the 1940s and ’50s, most of the German community moved out, but several of these old-time businesses still remain, one of which is Glaser’s Bake Shop.
When German immigrant John Glaser opened his bakery in 1902, there were half a dozen nearby competitors. 115 years later, the perfectly preserved storefront on First Avenue and 87th Street is the last of its kind in Yorkville, but it’s still filled everyday with new neighbors and long-time residents alike, eager to satisfy their sweet tooths with the extra chocolately brownies, jelly donuts, Bavarian pastries, and their famous black-and-white cookies. Glaser’s is now owned by John’s grandsons Herbert and John, who are committed to keeping their family’s traditions alive. 6sqft recently stopped by to watch Herb work on massive gingerbread village and chat with him more about the baker’s history and how he’s seen Yorkville change over the years.
Yorkville’s 10 Gracie Square is considered “one of New York City’s most prestigious addresses” and “the most desirable residential building overlooking Carl Schurz Park,” over the years attracting the likes of Alexander Woollcott, conductor Andre Kostelanetz, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. And now Barack and Michelle Obama may be added to that list, as “multiple sources” told the Post that the former President and First Lady were seen arriving at the Upper East Side building to view apartments. The co-op, located just down the block from the Mayor’s residence Gracie Mansion, has plenty of perks that would likely attract the Obamas, including an indoor basketball court for the hoops-loving Prez, pet-friendly policy (we can’t imagine they’d leave Bo behind), and a super-secure underground drive-in garage that would allow them to enter privately.
This adorable one-bedroom co-op at 326 East 73rd Street shows what designer talent can do for a small apartment. High ceilings, white oak floors, and a great Upper East Side location don’t hurt matters much, while the stylish and well-appointed kitchen, elegant lighting, and reclaimed wood accents make this space seem like a find indeed. There are also quartz countertops, glass French doors, big closets, and plenty of sun to enjoy, and we’re guessing a new owner will be doing just that, very soon.
Just two blocks away from the new Second Avenue subway stop at 96th Street is this very adorable duplex co-op. It’s located at 226 East 95th Street, in Yorkville, a small 29-unit elevator cooperative. This particular apartment last sold in 2014 for $475,000 and is now asking $575,000. A spiral staircase from a brick-walled living room leads up to the single bedroom, which has a sliding door out to the lush private terrace.
“Master builder” Robert Moses–he of the 13 expressways that crisscross New York City–spent the 1970s living with his wife, Mary Grady Moses, in a three-bedroom co-op at 1 Gracie Terrace in Yorkville on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (h/t NYPost). We can see how the home’s sweeping river views would inspire the subject of Robert Caro’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” when pondering the conflicting issues of a complicated and changing city. The apartment is now for sale asking $1.95 million.
Growing up at the turn of the century on the Lower East Side, which was then home to the Yiddish Rialto (the largest Yiddish theater in the world at the time), is how legendary Hollywood songwriter Irving Berlin was first exposed to music and theater. But later in life, he moved his family uptown, first to Sutton Place and then to 130 East End Avenue, an Emory Roth-designed co-op in Yorkville right across from Carl Schurz Park. He lived in the penthouse duplex, which biographer Laurence Bergreen described as “a formal, stately dwelling with impressive views of the East River,” from 1931 to 1944. Now, the still-stately and “One of a Kind” home has just hit the market for $7.9 million.