“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

New York’s “Little Germany”

Germania Fire Insurance Building


— 357 Bowery —

New York’s “Little Germany” Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, July 12, 2016
1. New York’s “Little Germany” Marker
Inscription.  You are standing in front of one of the best-preserved reminders of Kleindeutschland - “Little Germany” – once the most prominent German-American neighborhood in America. Fleeing economic and political instability, Germans began immigrating here in the 1840s, and by 1855 New York contained the third largest urban population of Germans in the world.

By 1870, Little Germany covered much of the present-day East Village and Lower East Side, with the Bowery the hub of its commercial and social life, including the beautiful Germania Bank building and the popular Atlantic Garden beer hall (see 190 and 50 Bowery). That same year, the Germania Fire Insurance Company opened a branch here to capitalize on property owners’ need for safeguards against an urban threat that had decimated large sections of the city. The building’s architect was Carl Pfeiffer, a native of Germany who later designed the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

After the 1904 General Slocum disaster, in which a fire on an excursion steamer killed over one thousand people, most of them women and children, Germans began leaving Kleindeutschland
357 Bowery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, July 12, 2016
2. 357 Bowery
The building is notable for its simplified mansard roof with tripartate dormer, and its original cast-iron storefront.
Click or scan to see
this page online
for other areas. Once a centerpiece of Bowery immigrant life, the Germania Fire Insurance Building was declared a NYC landmark in 2010.

- David Freeland, author of Automats, Taxi Dances & Vaudeville
Erected 2016.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1855.
Location. 40° 43.607′ N, 73° 59.486′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near East 4th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 357 Bowery, New York NY 10003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vauxhall Gardens (within shouting distance of this marker); The Hippest Place on Earth (within shouting distance of this marker); Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) (within shouting distance of this marker); 27 Cooper Sq. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Firehouse Engine Company No. 33 (about 400 feet away); Secret Cemetery Secret Garden (about 400 feet away); Casting At The Cast Iron Bank: (about 400 feet away); 27 Cooper Square (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
Also see . . .  The 1870 Germania Life Insurance Bldg -- No. 357 Bowery. "Daytonian in Manhattan" entry. (Submitted on April 11, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 27, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 27, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 24, 2022