Beekman Regent is the private development of a New York City-owned property, P.S. 135 (originally Primary School No. 35) in the Turtle Bay section of Manhattan.
The original buff-colored five-story Romanesque building of 1893 was used as a school until the 1970s, when the Board of Education decided to sell it. The prospective developer intended to demolish the building, but neighborhood groups fought to save the school.
Preservationists succeeded in getting the building listed in the National Register of Historic Places – but not NYC Landmark status. Nonetheless, the city relented and required preservation of the school facade as a condition of the school’s sale. A decade later, the city found a developer that would observe those terms.
Within the first five floors – the original building height – are retail space (currently a Duane Reade drugstore) and four floors of loft apartments with 14-foot ceilings and 10-foot windows. Above that are duplex, standard and penthouse condominium apartments – homes, in developer-speak.
The apartment tower and historic base are different colors and architectural styles. The effect isn’t as drastic as the glass and steel tower that erupts from the Hearst Building (Eighth Avenue at W 57th Street), but it is odd, like the NYU dorm built behind a fragment of St. Ann’s Shrine Armenian Catholic Cathedral on E 12th Street.
Beekman Regent Vital Statistics
- Location: 931 First Avenue / 351 E 51st Street
- Year completed: 1893 (original); 2002 (conversion)
- Architect: George W. Debevoise (original); Costas Kondylis & Partners LLP Architects (conversion)
- Floors: 21
- Style: Romanesque
- National Register of Historic Places: 1980
Beekman Regent Recommended Reading
- Daytonian in Manhattan blog
- City Realty review
- The New York Times An Anchored Enclave With a Landscape in Flux (November 13, 2005)
- Mayor’s Press Office announcement (September 28, 1999)
- Beekman Regent video
- Beekman Regent website
- Kondylis Architecture website (conversion architect)