Manhattan’s Smallest Neighborhoods – Sutton and Beekman Place
The John and Jonathan Sell NYC Podcast: Episode 27
Welcome to the John and Jonathan Sell NYC Podcast, where experienced, expert NYC real estate brokers John Gasdaska and Jonathan Conlon break down what’s happening in the market, what you need to know whether you’re a buyer, seller, or agent, and their insight into the future, with a little bit of fun along the way.
Manhattan’s Smallest Neighborhoods – Sutton and Beekman Place
- Sutton is located between First Avenue and the East River, from 53rd to 59th
- Features some of Manhattan’s most expensive real estate
- Beekman Place is a small street in the Turtle Bay neighborhood on the East Side of Manhattan. It runs north to south for two blocks, situated between the eastern end of 51st Street and Mitchell Place.
- Beekman Place the street is different than the neighborhood
- Really only 3 square blocks
- Upper East Side
- Midtown East
- Roosevelt Island
- Murray Hill
|Public Schools||Private/Secular Schools||Sacred Schools||French Schools||Schools For Students with Learning Disabilities|
- Not many options within Sutton Place
- Felidia NYC 243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022
- La Villetta 398 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
- Amma 246 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022
- Neary’s 358 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022
- Just to the north of the neighborhood, near the entrance of Queensboro Bridge, are a few shops that sell essentials
- York Avenue, just north of Sutton Place, is full of fine dining and retail
- Whole Foods on East 57th Street offers freshly baked breads, a certified cheese professional, custom floral arrangements and gift baskets, squeeze-your-own orange juice machines, and tons of other amenities.
- (N) (Q) (R) (E) (4) (5) (6) – Stop along Lexington Avenue with some entrances on Third Avenue.
- M15 Bus travels north on First Avenue and south on Second Avenue.
- M31 and M57 Buses run crosstown on 57th Street.
- (N) (Q) (R) (4) (5) (6): 3rd Avenue – 60th Street | 0.58 Miles
- (M): Lexington Avenue – 51st Street | 0.43 Miles
- Parking in the area can be hard
- If the UN is in session, the president is in town, and the whole eastern corridor gets really shut down and traffic gets bad
- There are five parks along the East River from 53rd Street to 58th Street.
- There is a promenade that connects the 56th Street and 57th Street parks.
- Gap from 34th to 60th street running path is still under development
- River Club https://www.riverclubnyc.com/
Nearby Points of Interest
- One Sutton Place North
- Townhouse in the northeast corner of Sutton Place and East 57th Street.
- It was built for Anne Harriman Vanderbilt, the widow of William K. Vanderbilt.
- Next door to One Sutton Place North
- Four-story brick townhouse that was built in 1921 for Anne Morgan, J.P. Morgan’s daughter.
- The property was donated as a gift to the United Nations in 1972 and now is the residence for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- Sotheby’s is headquartered on York Avenue.
- Built in 1929, One Beekman Place has been called “the most prestigious Beekman Place apartment building”.
- It was built by a group led by David Milton, who was married to Abby Rockefeller, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller Jr. “Wild Bill” Donovan of the OSS, John D. Rockefeller III, and Sir Francis Rundall have all lived there.
- 23 Beekman Place was designed by modernist architect Paul Rudolph.
- 29 Beekman Place was built in 1934 for CBS chief executive William S. Paley.
- It is a 7-story limestone-and-brick mansion house with over 12.2k square feet.
- Health advocates Albert and Mary Lasker, and Princess Ashraf Pahlavi of Iran have lived in the mansion.
- 31 Beekman Place was formerly owned by Tom Jones, and now is the office for the Tunisian permanent mission to the United Nations.
- The Campanile, at 450 East 52nd Street, is a prestigious prewar co-op with spectacular views of the East River, and quick access to Grand Central Terminal. Stars Greta Garbo and Rex Harrison have lived there.
- The River House co-op, at 435 East 52nd Street was built in 1931 on the site of a former cigar factory.
- Originally, the building was a sort of boat club, with a pier where residents could dock their yachts, but that changed when the construction of FDR Drive started.
- The co-op board is notorious for turning away applicants who failed to meet strict requirements.
- Celebrities who have allegedly been turned away by the co-op board are Gloria Vanderbilt, Richard Nixon, Diane Keaton, and Joan Crawford.
- One Beekman Place
- UN People, politicians, consulates, etc.
- In 1875, Effingham B. Sutton built a collection of brownstones between 57th Street and 58th Street.
- In 1883, the New York City Board of Alderman approved a petition to change the section of “Avenue A” between 57th and 60th Streets to be called “Sutton Place”.
- The Sutton Place neighborhood started rising in popularity in the 1920s, when wealthy influentials, like Anne Morgan and Anne Harriman Vanderbilt built townhouses overlooking the East River there.
- Development halted with the onset of the Great Depression, and didn’t pick up again until the 1940-1950s.
- “Sutton Place”, as a name, has made appearances in cultural classics, like Rodgers & Hart lyrics, countless films, and in the American classic Catcher in the Rye. It is usually used to refer to a certain air of elegance and affluence.
- The neighborhood is named after the Beekman family and their mansion Mount Pleasant, which James Beekman built in 1765.
- James Beekman was a descendant of Willem Beekman, which William Street and Beekman Street were named for.
- The Beekman family lived in the home until they were forced to move because of a cholera epidemic in 1854.
- The British made their headquarters in the Mount Pleasant mansion for a while during the Revolutionary War.
- George Washington was a frequent visitor to Mount Pleasant.
- Mount Pleasant was torn down in 1874.
- The neighborhood’s transformation was facilitated primarily by Anne Morgan in the 1920s.
- Billy Joel references Beekman Place in his song “Close to the Borderline” from the 1980 album “Glass Houses”.
- Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” showcases a character descended from the Beekman family line.
- Retired CIA official Clay Proctor lived in a luxury apartment building in Beekman Place in “Receptor, a fictional novel by Alan Glynn.
Notable (Former and Current) Residents
- Architect – I.M. Pei
- Socialite – Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
- French-American Writer, Journalist, and Pianist – Eve Curie
- Cabaret Singer and Pianist – Bobby Short
- Rock Stars – Freddie Mercury, and Michael Jackson
- Actors: Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Lillian Gish, Joan Crawford, Mildred Natwick, Maureen O’Hara, and Sigourney Weaver
- Clothing Designers: Bill Blass, Kenneth Cole
- Interior Designer: Valerian Rybar
- Shipping Magnate: Aristotle Onassis
- Banker: Richard Jenrette
- Hedge Fund Manager: Raj Rajaratnam
- Politician and Business Leader: Percy Sutton
- Former New York Governor: Mario Cuomo
- All UN Secretaries-General since Kurt Waldheim
- The Beekman family
- William S. Paley
- Albert and Mary Lasker
- Princess Ashraf Pahlavi of Iran.
- Tom Jones
- Greta Garbo
- Rex Harrison
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