Beekman Place is a small street located on the east side of Manhattan, New York, in the neighborhood of Turtle Bay. Running from north to south for two blocks, the street is situated between the eastern end of 51st Street and Mitchell Place, where it ends at a retaining wall above 49th Street, overlooking the glass apartment towers at 860 and 870 United Nations Plaza, just north of the United Nations Headquarters complex. "Beekman Place" also refers to the residential neighborhood that surrounds the street itself. It is named after the Beekman family, who were influential in New York City's development.
The neighborhood was the site of the Beekman family mansion, Mount Pleasant, which James Beekman built in 1765. James Beekman was a descendant of Willem Beekman, for whom Beekman Street and William Street were named. The British made their headquarters in the mansion for a time during the American 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, but 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 lined much of the East River. The neighborhood's rehabilitation began in the 1920s, facilitated primarily by Anne Morgan of the Morgan banking family, who lived slightly farther north on Sutton Place.