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One of New York's smallest and most exclusive enclaves, the Beekman/Sutton Place area is peaceful oasis amid the hustle and bustle of midtown. Stretching 10 blocks between 49th and 59th streets along the East River, the area is known for its ivy-covered townhomes, mansions, elegant co-ops and unobstructed waterfront views.
Named after the Beekman family, which built its mansion, Mount Pleasant, in 1766, Beekman Place is the smaller of the two streets, situated on just two blocks between 49th and 51st streets. In the early 1800s, the area was developed with stately townhouses, followed by prominent pre-war co-ops such as 1 Beekman Place, which, when erected in 1929, firmly cemented Beekman Place as an elite enclave. The area has long been a draw for celebrities and luminaries, including Ethel Barrymore and Irving Berlin.
Further north, Sutton Place, which comprises the area between 53rd and 59th streets, is named after shipping tycoon Effingham B. Sutton. Once industrial, Sutton Place began to earn a favored reputation in the early 1900s with the opening of the Queensboro Bridge and the arrival of several prominent families such as the Morgans and the Vanderbilts, the latter of whose home is now used as the residence for the U.N. Secretary General. Like Beekman Place, Sutton Place also features a mix of townhouses and impressive co-op buildings, including 1 Sutton Place, a grand 14-story building designed by the famed interior architect Rosario Candela.
Though the area requires walking several east/west blocks to the nearest subway station, First Avenue - north of 51st Street - is lined with a multitude of restaurants, markets, shops and services. The area also has its share of unique amenities, including Sutton East Tennis, a facility with eight enclosed tennis courts located underneath the Queensboro Bridge. The Beekman/Sutton Place area is also home to three public parks.
Once popular among empty nesters, the area is growing increasingly popular with young singles and families, especially physicians who have an easy drive via the F.D.R. to hospitals located on Manhattan's East Side and in the Bronx.