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Living in Beekman

This neighborhood where Irving Berlin once resided, is composed of beautiful townhouses and grand co-ops situated upon just a few square blocks. Because of its size, the number of Beekman Place apartments for sale at any one time, whether co-op or condo, is limited — but the Beekman area is worth the wait! The neighborhood centers on Beekman Place, which is two blocks long, lined with grand buildings such as One Beekman Place, a co-op with a garage and an Olympic pool. In fiction, that East Side co-op was home to the madcap Auntie Mame; in fact, it contains what many believe to be New York City’s grandest and best apartments.

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The Beekman neighborhood retains a mystique held by few other areas of New York. Unknown even to many native New Yorkers due to its remote location, this tiny yet exquisite area centers on the two blocks of Beekman Place. Just a block away from the hustle and bustle of First Avenue, Beekman Place retains an old-world charm with grand architecture and river views. With the United Nations Headquarters nearby, Beekman houses several missions and consulates, including offices for Mozambique, Yemen and Luxembourg. A small selection of restaurants and shops are also on hand. Residents enjoy the greenery of riverside Peter Detmold Park and the recreational facilities of the private River Club of New York. Beekman's demographics have historically included the Manhattan elite, including the Rockefeller family and famed composer Irving Berlin. Today, residents comprise a blend of empty nesters, professionals and families. Midtown Manhattan is close at hand for commuters, yet the area's scenic views and tranquil way of life also appeal to retirees.

Beekman real estate

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The neighborhood is small, encompassing just a few square blocks. Beekman real estate opportunities don't crop up too often, but when they appear on the market they go quickly. There’s a variety of townhouse architecture in Beekman, including modern glass designs and more traditional pre-war co-ops. Many desirable Beekman apartments are on Beekman Place.

One Beekman Place’s elegant façade conceals an Olympic-size pool, squash court and private garage. This co-op’s quirky details also include bay windows and asymmetrical balconies overlooking the East River. It even had a private pier up until 1940, when the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive arrived. The Grand Beekman is another in-demand property, designed by Costas Kondylis and constructed in limestone. It stands 32 floors in height and features a concierge, health club and private conservatory.

Beekman history

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Beekman Place was named after the Beekman family. These early Dutch settlers owned three large farms, but their family mansion stood at First Avenue and 51st Street, constructed in 1765. The neighborhood became a staging area for the British during the Revolutionary War. British general William Howe occupied the Beekman mansion at one point, holding patriot Nathan Hale there prior to his execution. By the early 1900s, the area was home to slaughterhouses and busy industrial factories. This all changed with the development of Beekman Place around 1920. The Art Deco-style Pan-Hellenic Tower still stands as a monument from this time period at the corner of First Avenue and 49th Street. Once a sorority house, it’s now home to the luxurious Beekman Tower.

Beekman restaurants

Beekman residents have a handful of restaurants in the neighborhood. There’s a trio of fine dining establishments on 52nd Street, consisting of Jubilee, Le Périgord and La Villetta. Le Périgord creates a classic French dining experience, down to the starched white linens and tuxedo-clad staff. The menu is equally heavy on tradition, featuring favorites like duck à l’orange and chocolate mousse. Next-door neighbor Jubilee also provides French cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh produce in a casual environment.

Located across the street in a former carriage house, La Villetta has exposed brick walls that give it an intimate, homey atmosphere. The shades of emerald green, blue, red and yellow used in its design evoke the coastline of Italy’s Puglia region, where the restaurant’s cuisine stems from. There are also a few eateries on First Avenue, including the Ethos Gallery. This Greek restaurant uses Mediterranean-fresh flavors in its fresh, healthy menu. The dining space is bright and airy, with seating spilling out onto the sidewalk in the summer.

Beekman attractions

Peter Detmold Park is the main leisure facility in Beekman. It runs along the East River between 49th and 52nd Streets, with paved pathways, a footbridge and numerous benches. Visitors may have the sense that they’ve stumbled into a secret garden. The park’s entrance is down a steep brownstone staircase, shrouded by shady overgrowth. Once you’ve reached it, the park’s well-maintained, with manicured greenery and picture-perfect gardens. Many visitors are regulars for the park’s dog run, which draws a bustling crowd of pooches in a friendly, social atmosphere.

Beekman shopping

There’s a small selection of basic conveniences and mom-and-pop shops on First Avenue. The Ideal Cheese Shop has been a part of the neighborhood for over 60 years. It began as a butter and egg company before evolving into a gourmet cheese store selling over 250 products from 17 countries. You’ll also find specialty products like aged balsamic vinegar and caramelized walnuts to help you put together the perfect cheese platter. There are plenty of dog owners on Beekman Place, and the area’s dog run is a social outlet for residents. Precious Pets is a cheerful boutique serving resident pet owners, who'll find the latest toys, apparel and grooming products along with doggie daycare services.

Beekman nightlife

Beekman Bar and Books, established in 1993, is a classy neighborhood watering hole. Originally an upscale cigar bar, it is currently smoke-free due to city regulations. It caters to a sophisticated clientele by serving a vast selection of spirits, cocktails and vintage ports with impeccable customer service. The ambiance is warm and inviting, creating a fittingly cozy nightspot for the Beekman neighborhood. In close proximity to the United Nations Headquarters, the bar is often filled with an eclectic, international crowd. Beekman Bar and Books’ Piano Bar plays live music between 9pm and midnight, from Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The Grand Beekman

"The Grand Beekman is a luxury condominium blending classic design and modern amenities, capturing the grace and grandeur of the Beekman Place neighborhood."
Gilda Shani
Gilda                Shani
Explore Properties in the Neighborhood
420 East 51st Street, Apt. 5D, Beekman $697,000Open House

What's In The Area: Beekman

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Beekman from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

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