After years of foiled development attempts, the building at 5 Beekman Street – an early skyscraper dating back to 1881 in Manhattan’s financial district – finally opened this summer as The Beekman, the latest offering from Thompson Hotels. Formerly known as Temple Court, the nine-storey building has been lovingly restored by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects, with interiors by Martin Brudnizki.
Aside from the granite and red-brick facade, which was landmarked in 1998, the building boasts a host of original features, including cast iron brackets bearing sculpted dragons (which inspired the hotel’s logo) and panels around the staircase that display pastoral scenes in bas-relief. The showpiece, however, is a soaring central atrium encircled by cast iron railings, adorned with floral and sunburst motifs, and topped off with an industrial, pyramidal glass skylight.
The dramatic location is home to 287 rooms, including 45 suites. Two 1,200 sq ft penthouses are tucked into the building’s twin turrets, each with private roof terraces and views of the Woolworth Building, City Hall Park and One World Trade Center. ‘The Beekman is a very grand and ornate building and we needed to ensure it felt intimate and comfortable,’ says Brudnizki of the interiors. ‘We’ve achieved this in the atrium through breaking the space up into various seating areas using a mixture of vintage and bespoke furniture to give an eclectic look.’
The reception area relies on dark woods and textural patterned rugs to bring warmth to the space. ‘The ambience is akin to that of a drawing room of the well-travelled,’ says Brudnizki. ‘This sense of feeling at home is continued in the bedrooms, where we included beautiful walnut furniture, complemented by fabrics such as leather, mohair velvet and silk.’
The culinary offerings, from two Big Apple stalwarts, live up to the setting. Keith McNally’s brasserie-style Augustine offers his trademark French fare from morning to night, while Tom Colicchio operates Fowler & Wells, for modern iterations of American classics from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as The Bar Room, which serves signature cocktails and snacks in the atrium space.
As originally featured in the September 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*210)