5 Beekman Street Building
5 Beekman Street, Manhattan (between Park Row and Nassau Street)
The New York Landmarks Conservancy was pleased to offer Professional Circle members an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of 5 Beekman, formerly known as the Temple Court Building and Annex. The tour was led by Eric Bass, Executive Vice President, Development Management, GB Lodging.
Built in 1881-1883, 5 Beekman was one of the first high-rise buildings in New York. This red-brick and terra cotta office building in the Queen Anne, Neo-Grec and Renaissance Revival styles was commissioned and originally owned by Eugene Kelly, an Irish immigrant who achieved great wealth as a dry goods retailer and banker. The firm of Silliman and Farnsworth were the architects.
The building’s most noteworthy feature is an atrium extending through all nine stories, topped by a large pyramidal skylight. In the 1940s, walls were erected on each floor around the edges of the atrium for fire safety reasons, hiding the atrium, railings and skylight from public view. These walls have since been removed, revealing the skylight and atrium with its elaborate wrought iron railings.
The Temple Court Building and Annex was designated a New York City landmark in 1998.
Today, this unique historic structure, together with an adjacent site on Nassau Street, will be converted into a luxury hotel consisting of 287 guestrooms and a 46-story condominium tower with 60 residences by GFI Development and GB Lodging. The project will total approximately 340,000 square feet and seeks to be a catalyst in the transformation of the Fulton Nassau Historic District.
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Throughout the year, Circle tours go behind-the-scenes of some of New York’s most interesting historic properties. Some tours require hard hats to visit projects during restoration, while others showcase completed restorations of commercial buildings, residences, museums, churches, and synagogues. On occasion, conservators, engineers, and craftspeople open their studios to our Circle members.