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.”
If you read 6sqft’s post about Kleindeutschland, or “Little Germany,” you know that in 1885 New York had the third largest German-speaking population in the world, outside of Vienna and Berlin, and the majority of those immigrants settled in what is today the heart of the East Village. You also know that the horrific General Slocum disaster in 1904 pushed the last of the Germans out of the area. And as promised, we’re here to tell you where that community went– Yorkville, then commonly known as Germantown.
The Upper East Side neighborhood, bounded by 79th and 96th streets and running from the east side of Third Avenue to the East River, exploded with immigrants from the former Prussian Empire in the early 20th century. Those looking for a fresh start after the tragedy saw opportunity in the many available jobs in Yorkville. Like the East Village, Yorkville still has many reminders of its German past, as well as still-thriving cultural spots.