1 Beekman Place

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1 Beekman Place, New York City, NY

1 Beekman Place
1BeekmanPlaceNYC.jpg

1 Beekman Place standing along the East River
Building Information
Developer David M. Milton
Architect Sloan & Robertson and Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray
Number of Units 42
Number of Floors 17
Year Built 1929
Construction Method Concrete
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1 Beekman Place, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R8B
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

1 Beekman Place is considered to be one of the most prestigious buildings in a neighborhood of great prestige all of its own. The two block street between East 49th and East 51st Streets was named after the Beekman Family, a prominent family in the development of New York City.

An artist's rendering of Nathan Hale's hanging

In 1764, the Beekmans built a mansion at the end of present day East 50th Street along the East River, and named it Mount Pleasant. This mansion would have a front row seat to history, as this home was later used as the headquarters for the British army during the occupation of Manhattan. Nathan Hale, the famous spy for the Americans, was held in this house after his capture by the British. He was later hanged nearby. Scholars today dispute whether the famous phrase attributed to him, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country”, was actually said by Hale at the time of his hanging.

After the Revolutionary War, Mount Pleasant remained under the ownership of the Beekman Family. It was in the 1860s that the road for which the neighborhood is now known was created by James Beekman. Stretching between East 49th and East 51st Streets between First Avenue and the East River, Beekman Place was further developed as a distinct neighborhood when Beekman sold the land surrounding this newly formed street to developers. The street was quickly built up with brownstone townhouses, and the quiet residential nook of which Beekman Place is now known was born.

With the onslaught of industrialization along the edge of the East River, Beekman Place was soon inhabited by immigrant workers and boarders. In the early 1920s, an effort to revitalize the neighborhood was spearheaded by Anne Morgan and Beekman Place once again became known as an upscale residential area. This shift led to the construction of 1 Beekman Place by the Rockefeller family, a 17 story cooperative building that contained only 24 apartments at the time of its completion.

Today, 1 Beekman Place has gained several units to bring that total up to 42, but the area has not lost any of its prestige. Beekman Place remains to this day, a highly coveted address in New York City.[1]

Location

A view of Beekman Place from the East River

Found between Beekman Place and the East River, just north of East 49th Street, 1 Beekman Place finds itself in the area known as Beekman Place, which is located within the neighborhood of Turtle Bay in Midtown Manhattan. Beekman Place is a small, two block area, which experienced a revitalization in the 1920s and was known as a prestigious hamlet of residences.

The rest of Turtle Bay, however, did not experience this revitalization until the arrival of the United Nations complex in the 1950s. Built between 1948 and 1952, the United Nations brought a comparable level of prestige and an aura of glamour to Turtle Bay, and in recent decades, the desirability of this neighborhood can be seen with the development of luxury apartment buildings such as 100 United Nations Plaza, Trump World Tower, and Dag Hammarskjold Tower.

Numerous missions to the United Nations are located within Turtle Bay, including those of Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Croatia, Egypt, France, Finland, India, Jordan, the Maldives, New Zealand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Turtle Bay is also mentioned in numerous works of fiction, most notably with the character of Mame from the book, play, movie, and musical, who lives specifically in Beekman Place at #3.[2]

Residents of 1 Beekman Place do not require a car to complete their daily errands, as they are within walking distance to numerous food, shopping, and services options. Grand Central Terminal is approximately a 15 minutes walk away, while the green subway line is three blocks to the West.[3]

Construction

When James Beekman sold off the land that would eventually become Beekman Place, he retained the small stretch of land that ran between the townhouses along the eastern side of Beekman Place road and the East River for possession within his family. The family promised to never build a structure on the land that would exceed the height of the townhouses and restrict their view, but by the 1910s, the land’s increasing value led the family to attempt to renege on this promise.

Residents in the area fought the proposed development in court and ultimately won the case. This led the Beekman Family to sell the land in 1922 and a one story parking garage was built on the space. In 2000, the cooperative board of 1 Beekman Place hired the architectural firm of Fox and Fowle to rebuild the garage that had by that time been mostly demolished.[4]

Shortly after the Beekmans lost their legal fight over that land, Beekman Place enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and prestige as a residential neighborhood. To meet growing demand for the area, the empty lot at the end of the street was developed into 1 Beekman Place. The building was developed by a group backed by the Rockefellers and led by David M. Milton. It was designed by a partnership between Sloan & Robertson and Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray. Construction on the building was completed in 1929.[5]

Layout and Features

Standing 17 stories and containing 42 apartments, 1 Beekman Place is known for its spacious layouts and duplex homes. Many of the units within the building have balconies and/or terraces. Due to the building’s age, the specific details, appliances, and finishes within each apartment will vary widely due to owner renovations over the decades, but some listed features include hardwood floors, high ceilings, over sized windows, marble counter top finishes, and soaking tubs in the bathrooms.

The exterior of the building features an asymmetrical east facade clad in brown brick, as well as a roof top that is created through a series of setbacks. Residents enter 1 Beekman Place through an entrance that is found under a three and a half story stone masonry surround.[6]


Floor Plans

A selection of floor plans is presented.

Amenities

The entrance marquee to 1 Beekman Place

1 Beekman Place is a full service building. Amenities include:

  • Doorman
  • Elevator porter
  • Fitness center
  • Swimming pool
  • Basketball court
  • Squash courts
  • Private landscaped gardens
  • Resident Lounge
  • Parking garage
  • Laundry facilities


Bylaws

1 Beekman Place Bylaws
Rentals No
Pets Yes
Age No


  • There have been no rentals in this building in recent years.
  • In-suite washers and dryers are allowed in this building.
  • This building is pet friendly.

Sustainability

Built in 1929, 1 Beekman Place was constructed long before the modern awareness of sustainability and green living initiatives and therefore, this building does not fall under the definition of today’s modern green buildings.

Should residents wish to help improve the building’s overall sustainability and also, their personal impact on the environment, small measures that can be undertaken to do so, including:

  • Using non-toxic and environmentally friendly household products
  • Upgrading their appliances to more energy efficient models
  • Using sustainable materials when undergoing renovations
  • Participating in New York City’s recycling programs


Trivia

John D Rockefeller III
  • Residents of 1 Beekman Place include John D. Rockefeller III, David K. E. Bruce, William J. Donovan, David M. Milton, Abby Milton, Webster B. Todd, Prince Aly Khan, Huntington Hartford, Henryk de Kwiatkowski, Stavros Niarchos, Mark Goodman, and Happy Rockefeller.[7]
  • Beekman Place enjoys a reputation as one of the safest places in New York City, with very low crime rates. This could be attributed to the fact that the Beekman Place Association hires a private security firm to patrol the area.[8]
  • Famous residents of the neighborhood of Beekman Place include Irving Berlin, Anne Morgan, Elisabeth Marbury, Gloria Vanderbilt, Rex Harrison, Katherine Cornell, Van Santvoord Merle-Smith, William S. Paley, Alfred Lunt, Lynne Fontanne, and Princess Ashraf Pahlavi.[9]


References

  1. NY Times
  2. Turtle Bay, Manhattan
  3. Walk Score
  4. NY Times
  5. Emporis
  6. City Realty
  7. City Realty
  8. NY Times
  9. NY Times


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