New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Beekman Place

This is Beekman Place as seen from the East River. From this vantage point, we see the backs of the row of houses of those lucky souls who have river views. This small enclave is an urban oasis - a two-block long street tucked in between 49th and 50th Street and East of 1st Avenue. The area is less well known (particularly to outsiders) that its neighbor Sutton Place, two blocks north. The Beekman name is one of NYC's oldest - William Beekman came to America on the same ship as Peter Stuyvesant in 1647. James Beekman built a mansion here, Mount Pleasant, in 1764 (it was used as British headquarters during the Revolutionary War). Nathan Hale was hanged here as a spy in 1776. It was demolished in 1874 as the city's grid plan encroached. By the end of the 19th century the area had become a slum with industry at the river's edge. In the 1920s, the neighborhood started to turn around, eventually to become one of the most sought after addresses of the wealthy. The roster of current and former residents reads like a small Who's Who - with names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Ethel Barrymore, Irving Berlin. Note the building second from the left (in the row of nine) - it is the former home of architect Paul Rudolph - read about him here and here ....

9 comments:

ruth said...

I don't think I've ever seen a photo of this before. It's fascinating. I'll bet it looks cool at night too with all those windows. Lucky devils.

Velvet Sea said...

it seems like blogger has cropped out the water unless you enlarge it. that park in the foreground is a neat little hidden treasure too.. there's some real cool stone steps up to beekman place on the north side of it.

Anonymous said...

Strange name for a school of architecture - Brutalist -- but you can see why it's called that and why many would not care for it...

Brian said...

I cropped it for the main photo here - I thought it would be easier to identify the actual row of houses on Beekman. Thanks for paying attention!
Beekman looks much more bucolic and "charming" when viewed from the street side. I will do another posting in the future showing the other side.
Brian

Chris & Deb said...

Sweet shot and awesome DOF.
Enjoyed the history lesson too!

susan in atlanta said...

Second from the left...row of nine? Row of nine? I don't understand.

I sure understand that having a river view is a great added benefit! I have to say though...they don't look that pretty on the outside. If you hadn't told me, I would have thought that they were low-end. Do I say everything that comes into my head? It appears so. Oh well, that's just my first impression.

I really like all the information you give. That is what makes it really interesting (to me at least). Especially the early history.

Why do you think that we, in America, tore everything down when much older cities in Europe have not?

Brian said...

Susan;
If you look carefully, there are nine individual buildings in the foreground of the photo. Keep in mind, these are the REAR of the buildings, so one would not expect them to be attractively built in the back. This is just a vista you do not normally see in photos. If you look online for Beekman and Sutton place, you will much more beautiful buildings.
Europe vs. America tearing things down? That's a whole other subject.
Brian

Anonymous said...

Wow. Wow. Wow!! This looks like a newer version of some of the old European cities, too.

Paul said...

Lol @ Susan from Atlanta - I agree; I was expecting much more aesthetically pleasing homes on such an exclusive and storied street. But this is NYC......