Yesterday afternoon, Curbed published 16 photos of the inside of Temple Court, the grand building at 5 Beekman, saying “Much looks the same since ScoutingNY visited the building in 2010, but that doesn’t make the soaring atrium or original details any less impressive.”
I kicked myself! Because I’ve been sitting on 61 photos, waiting till I got my slideshow mechanism together. (Good thing no one has been holding his breath.) Annika K. Martin took the photos around a year ago, but to be fair, she only sent them to me this fall. I’m not blaming you, Annika! Just trying to explain to the world what happened! (If you think I’m babbling now, you see me after a glass of wine.)
Annika went to 5 Beekman—being turned into a hotel and condos—on a tour organized by Taste Architecture, and what her photos lack in newness they more than make up for in depth; this is a much more detailed look at the space than we’ve previously seen. Here’s what she sent over when I asked for a description of the experience.
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is “freezing”—it was such a cold day. Then there were real glimmers of a gilded past—the birds in relief on the stairwell, the clearly once-gorgeous atrium, the wood-paneled interior “windows” onto the courtyard/atrium—and then just gross wreckage that was clearly the 60s/70s overwriting the old beauty and then all rotting together. I took a few shots out the window across Beekman to the gorgeous brick building across the street. And Woolworth looked great from the roof as well. [You may recall that Annika also let me run her photos from a tour of the Woolworth Building.]
Basically it looked like it had a long way to go before it would be revived. It was an absolute mess. When I was there I heard that they were going to turn the towers (along Park Row) into penthouse suites—probably for the hotel rather than condos—and we remarked to each other how they were kind of awkward spaces.
I hate to say this, but this seemed very Woolworth-esque in the sense of being pretty but useless—originally designed for all aesthetics and no functionality, and therein lying its failure. So it will be interesting to see how a (good, in my opinion) boutique hotel/developer can use the space and bring it to its best fruition better than pretty much anyone has thus far.
That said, It was a more pleasant building to be in than Woolworth. At least it felt like the interiors were meant to be inhabited in this one. Woolworth felt like a castle built for the outside with no thought to actually having to be inhabitable inside. Which is kind of true for how it was built.
P.S. All the ivy and stuff is part of the “Taste Architecture” event there, not actual ivy growing there or anything.
Thank you again, Annika! Click to enlarge, people. The photos are worth the effort. And yes, I know a slideshow would be nice, but it’s probably not going to happen.
P.S. This is from the Curbed post: “The renovated building already has a teaser website that says the new structure will have 285 hotel rooms and 85 residences, and the hotel should be open by 2014. The website also says that there will be a 40-story tower involved, but we have no idea where that might be going. There is mention of ‘an adjacent site on Nassau Street,’ so possibly there?” Good heavens, another building over 30 stories in that tight little area, where the streets are already narrow and dark?