Tortoise Strolls

Archive for the ‘Midtown East’ Category

Sutton Place Park

with one comment

Sutton Place Park

At the easternmost end of 57th Street, there’s this little known park with a wild boar at its core.  Known as Sutton Place Park, it has a remarkable view of the 59th Street Bridge as well as the East River. Very few people visit this park so you are mostly assured of a quiet time. The wild boar was a gift from philanthropist Hugh Trumball Adams and was installed in 1972.  If you look carefully, you’ll notice that there are little toads, crabs, lizards and mice around the hoofs of the tender beast. The sculpture and its intricate details were copied from a replica done by Pietro Tacca called “Porcellino” in 1634. The original marble version, which both of these copies were based on, is housed in the Uffizi Museum in Florence.

Sutton Place Park is relatively small but could very well be on the course to expand. The adjacent Co-op, 1 Sutton Place South, has lost the privilege of leasing what could be termed their “backyard” from the city. As of November 2011, plans are being set to turn 1 Sutton Place South’s former greenery into a public park. Of course the shareholders cannot be too thrilled.

Sutton Place Park 2

                  1 Sutton Place South’s former private backyard, awaiting to be made publicSutton Place Park 3

Advertisements

Written by agnesbstanton

January 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Midtown East, Parks, Sutton

100 United Nations Plaza

leave a comment »

A bit of a run-in for this witch!

Written by agnesbstanton

October 27, 2010 at 10:18 am

1 Beekman Place

leave a comment »

A little history: Beekman Place was named after Willem Beekman whose descendent James Beekman built a family mansion called “Mount Pleasant” in 1765. Later during the Revolutionary War, this mansion was the site where Nathan Hale was tried for being a spy. He was hung in an orchard nearby.  Because the Beekman family was very influential in the development of Manhattan, this little street still bears their name which runs between 49th and 51st St. East of First Ave. “Mount Pleasant” unfortunately was torn down in 1874, but many beautiful buildings went up in the years to follow especially just before W.W.II. One of the most impressive buildings is 1 Beekman Place which is on the corner of 50th St. and Mitchell Place. This co-op which was built in 1929 rises 17 floors and has 39 apartments.

Provenance: Over the years 1 Beekman has always attracted very important and charismatic people. Henryk de Kwiatkowski lived here and his story has all of the aspects of an Ian Fleming novel. He was born in Poznan Poland, became an orphan, was captured by the Soviets, imprisoned for two years before he made his way to England and flew for the Royal Air Force during WW2.  Henryk befriended Igor Sikorsky and made his fortune in the leasing of used aircraft to third world countries. His first deal just happened to be with the Shah of Iran.

Another notable resident was Stavros Niarchos who bought his apartment in the 1950’s. Included in the acquisition were 11 Rembrandts. This reflects an era when paintings, particularly Old World Masters, were readily available and often sold along with a home. The apartment is currently used by Stavros’ oldest son Philip Niarchos and his wife Victoria who is a member of the Guinness family. Stavros Niarchos III is also seen at 1 Beekman.

Mark Goodson, the creator of the modern game show as we know it also once lived in this remarkable building. Along with his partner Bill Todman, they were the most prolific producers of the game show format in TV history.

As you can see, 1 Beekman has had its share of interesting personalities. Through my husband’s acquaintance, I was offered the opportunity to actually visit 1 Beekman on the inside. From what I was able to gather, there look to be about two residences per floor landing although I believe there are two elevators. Of the 39 apartments which are on 17 floors, there are many duplexes.  As you walk inside the lobby, your view focuses on the most refreshing garden outside. The elevator is operated by an elevator man in white gloves. I really enjoyed my visit there and find this to be one of the most enchanting buildings in the city.

Written by agnesbstanton

April 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

Posted in Co-ops, Midtown East