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History of Yorkville, NY

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The Banville Law personal injury attorneys in Yorkville, NY, would like to share this historical overview of the area for your enjoyment.

Yorkville, New York

The neighborhood of Yorkville is located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York and takes up just under 320 acres. The East River creates the eastern border and Third Avenue the western border.

Early History

Under the lead of General George Washington, many troops of the Continental Army were stationed in Yorkville in 1776. They remained in the defense mode along the East River in case of the need to retreat or defend from forces crossing the water. After a retreat, they successfully led the enemy away.

The area consisted of a market garden district and farmland in 1815. With the expansion of the New York and Harlem Railroad in the early 1830s, the area grew, and commercial development began. Many of the early residents were of German or Irish descent. When Civil War was over, mansions replaced many of the rundown homes attracting new residents.

Early Settlement Diversity

The Yorkville neighborhood remained middle-class during the 19th and 20th centuries. Residents during this time were from different descents, including the following:

  • Czech, Slovak
  • Irish
  • Polish
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Lebanese

However, the majority of the immigrant population in the 1900s was from Germany. Many German shops opened along with bakeries and restaurants. During the 1930s, Yorkville became the home to a pro-Nazi group, German American Bund, founded by Fritz Julius Kuhn. This led to many protests from residents as more German refugees were moving in. The German heritage is still celebrated in the town with the yearly Steuben Parade. Cities that host this German-American celebration for Von Steuben Day include:

  • Yorkville - held every 3rd Saturday in September
  • Philadelphia - held every 4th Saturday in September
  • Chicago - held every 2nd Saturday in September

The Irish population was the second-largest during the time. Most lived in the area outlined by Lexington and Fifth Avenues and 85th and 81st Streets. In the center of historic Yorkville would be the end of New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade until the late 1990s. The area is home to many churches that the Irish would attend for mass, such as the following:

  •  St. Ignatius Loyola - located on 84th Street and Park Avenue
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel  - located on 90th Street
  • Church of St. Joseph - located on 87th Street

Recent History

By the 21st century, the area's diversity was changing, and many landmarks were being leveled and replaced by high-rise complexes. Many of the historical mansions were torn down, leading to the migration of the different groups. However, a small section that runs from 79th street to 83rd is called Little Hungary due to the remaining population.


The population in Yorkville was 77,942 in 2010, an increase of 1,174 since 2000. Despite the decrease in Yorkville's German and Irish population, the area has a mixed diversity. The ethnic breakdown is as follows:

  • 76.0%  White
  • 3.7% African American
  • 0.1% Native American
  • 9.3% Asian
  • 0.0% Pacific Islander
  • 0.3% from other races
  • 1.9% from two or more races
  • 8.8% Hispanic or Latino

See Related: History of the Lenox Family

Our Local Office

If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact Banville Law. The experience of our Yorkville, NY, personal injury lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our office for a free consultation.

Banville Law
165 West End Ave #1h
New York, NY 10023, USA
(917) 633-4808

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: April 2, 2021
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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