Sunday, January 2, 2011

John Beekman House

Beekman Drawings
Hamilton Square is located in the Beekman Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, named after the influential Beekman family from colonial times. One of the original homes of John Beekman was located in the fourth ward at 29 Cherry Street.
Beekman Place is a small street located on the east side of Manhattan, New York City. The street runs from north to south for approximately two blocks and is situated between the eastern end of 51st and 49th streets. Beekman Place is also used to refer to the residential neighborhood that surrounds the street itself. It is named after the Beekman family, an influential family in the development of the city. The neighborhood was the site of the Beekman family mansion, Mount Pleasant, which was built by James Beekman in 1765. James Beekman was a descendant of Willem Beeckman for whom Beekman Street was named.
The British made their headquarters in the mansion for a time during the Revolutionary War and Nathan Hale was tried as a spy in the mansion's greenhouse and hanged in a nearby orchard. George Washington visited the house many times during his presidency. The Beekman family lived at Mount Pleasant until a cholera epidemic forced them to move in 1854. The home survived until 1874 when it was torn down.
With the surge of immigration from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Lower East Side's slums expanded north. The Beekman Place area's well-off residents gave way to impoverished workers employed in the coalyards that defaced much of the East River shore. The neighborhood's rehabilitation began in the 1920's, facilitated primarily by Anne Morgan of the Morgan banking family, who lived slightly farther north on Sutton Place.

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