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Today's Featured Building: Grand Beekman


The Grand Beekman is the a new addition to the enclave of the Beekman area in the neighborhood of Turtle Bay. Not much in the way of residential development has been added for several decades.

Great views are available from the Grand Beekman
Turtle Bay - around 1853
It grew into a 32 floor tower set upon a seven story limestone pedestal accented with a royal blue entrance canopy. One of the retail tenants in this mixed-use building is a branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

The neighborhood of Turtle Bay began its existence, at least as far as the western world is concerned, in the 17th century when a parcel of land was given to two Englishmen by the then Dutch colonial governor, in 1639. The East River had spates of very bad weather and Turtle Bay became a safe haven. It soon became a site for ship-building.

As the grid system in Manhattan was developing, the land around Turtle Bay was graded as development moved in. And move in, it did. By 1868, industrial and commercial over development jammed the area with slaughterhouses, gas works, tanneries, breweries, coal yards and railroad piers.

Squalid tenements endured about 150 tons of soot-fall per square mile annually. It was quite a blight. But in 1918, Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan saw a glimmer of hope in the area. She purchased and renovated 11 brownstone row houses, faced them with lighter colored material, rearranged the interiors, developed a common garden away from the noisy street, and named the enclave Turtle Bay Gardens. She then sold the units to friends at cost and so began the gentrification of Turtle Bay.

Celebrity residents over the years have included Katharine Hepburn, Ricardo Montalban, Tyrone Power, and E.B. White, the author of the popular Charlotte's Web.

Once the slaughterhouses were cleared from the 18 acres between 42nd Street and 49th Street, work began on the United Nations buildings along the East River. This work was largely completed around 1952.[1]

Turtle Bay has evolved into a tree lined neighborhood with somewhat quiet streets with the bulk of traffic being diverted using FDR Drive along the river bank.


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Staff Picks:

740 Park Avenue - Known as one of New York City's premiere apartments buildings, 740 Park Avenue is famous for being the childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Ansonia - A former hotel with a long and storied history of famous residents, scandals, and tumultuous times, the Ansonia is known for its distinctive architecture and lavish design detailing.

City Spire - At the time of its construction, City Spire was the world's second tallest concrete building, and today is known for its record setting three floor penthouse with panoramic views of Manhattan.

Apple Bank Building - A landmark building that once housed the Central Savings Bank, the Apple Bank Building is known for its luxury, including a fitness center that is illuminated by a chandelier.

Downtown By Starck - A conversion project by famed architect Philippe Starck, this building has been dubbed the Downtown Insanity Palace due to its numerous over the top luxury amenities.

Rutherford Place - A former maternity hospital, Rutherford Place is now a condominium residence in Gramercy Park, and a classic example of the Beaux Arts architectural style.

Jade- With interior design by Jade Jagger, this building introduced Manhattan-ites to pod style living.


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