© Frank H. Jump
Hue Saturated for detail © Frank H. Jump
Hue Saturation for detail brings out underlying ad © Frank H. Jump
Chronicling America – Library of Congress (PDF)
A long, long time ago this was the largest selling cigar brand in the world, selling over a billion cigars a year… and now it’s back!
These Nicaraguan made Cremos are light, mild, creamy smokes made from Nicaraguan Visos (the mildest tobaccos near the bottom of the plant) and a flavorful Ecuador Sumatra wrapper that has no bite. Frankly this cigar is designed for the guy [or gal!] who smokes a lot of cigars every day – and these guys are gonna be real happy when they get a load of the value prices. You just can’t buy any cigar that’ll leave your mouth as fresh as a Cremo or your wallet as full. Whatta Combination! – JR Cigars
The Beekman family, Colonial-era merchants, built a riverfront mansion near the foot of East 50th Street in 1764. Many sources say that the patriot-spy Nathan Hale was first arraigned there after his capture by the British in 1776. By the mid-19th century the East River waterfront had fallen far from its resort status, and coal yards, lumber mills and other industries dotted the shoreline, at least where there was good river access.
Perhaps because the Beekman mansion’s grounds were on a high, rocky bluff without good water access, the house remained standing until the 1870′s. But in 1865 the family sold off much of its land around the newly established Beekman Place, including most of the river-facing lots between 49th and 51st Street. To protect the light and air of the brownstone row houses that soon went up at 13-39 Beekman Place, the Beekmans promised to restrict the height of future buildings on their remaining waterfront strip of land, directly below the houses, to no higher than that of Beekman Place itself.
By the turn of the century bigger and bigger factories were crowding the shoreline — among them the huge Cremo cigar factory on the current site of River House at 52nd Street — and the once-genteel private houses were filled with boarders. Still, a clipping from The New York Sun at the Museum of the City of New York, undated but probably from the 1910′s, painted a bucolic picture of the clifftop houses looking down on the rocky shore below: ”Mothers in the neighborhood take their knitting and embroidery every afternoon and bask in the shade. . . . Even Coney Island and Rockaway have nothing on the beach at Beekman Place.”
By this time the Beekman family estate was trying to void the 1865 height restriction on the waterfront strip — with a free hand, it said, it could have wiped out the beach and replaced it with a giant steam plant. In 1920 The New York Times reported on what had been a six-year fight to remove the restrictions, which the row-house owners on Beekman Place had fought strenuously to keep.
The Beekmans’ lawyer, Herbert L. Fordham, said that radical changes in the area should void the restriction because it was ridiculous to hang on to the ”half-forgotten vision of terraces and gardens . . . in the midst of towering steam plants, electric light plants and coal pockets. New York needs its waterfront for business.”
BY 1922 the Beekmans gave up the fight and leased the waterfront strip — 460 feet long, stretching from 49th up to 51st, and including the empty plot on Beekman Place now occupied by 1 Beekman Place.
The lease was acquired by a development group that announced plans for a studio apartment on the Beekman Place frontage, and a one-story garage on the waterfront strip. The studio apartment was not built, but the garage, designed by John J. Dunnigan, later a state senator from the Bronx, did go up. It had simple rubble-stone walls and a curved, wood-truss roof. The garage entrance was at 49th street.