The famous nine-storey atrium isn’t the first thing you see when you step inside New York City’s new Beekman Hotel. You must walk through the ornate entrance—all wood-panels, chandeliers, and tiled flooring—and sternly remind yourself not to sink into one of the inviting couches or stop to admire the Edgar Allen Poe-inspired artwork.
The atrium isn’t even the second thing you see, as you pass through a series of doors and the concierge on your right. It’s a touch dimmer now; the atmosphere both quiet and electric—like the calm before a storm.
But suddenly, you’ve arrived—and it’s one of the prettiest sights in New York hospitality.
The gilded atrium of the Beekman is already the stuff of legend (and of copious Instagram posts). It is jaw-dropping, to be sure—surrounded by library books, quirky knick-knacks, and opposite a long bar where the bartenders sling craft cocktails. And yet, it’s only one of a long list of things that make the Beekman perhaps the hottest New York City hotel opening of the year.
Originally an office building—and one of the tallest buildings in lower Manhattan when it debuted in 1883 as The Temple Court Building—the property meandered through several stages of life before falling abandoned. The hotel was eventually bought by GFI Capital Resources Group and became a Thompson Hotel, with millions spent renovating and restoring the property—including the adjacent residential tower—through New York-based Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects. London-based interior architect Martin Brudnizki handled the design.
With a new lease on life, it’s now a 287-room, 45-suite, two-duplex property in Lower Manhattan, just around the corner from the Freedom Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and City Hall. When it opened late this summer, it was arguably the single most-anticipated New York hotel in years—despite 2016’s slew of new, big-name luxury properties cropping up all over Manhattan. The Four Seasons Downtown, the Redbury, SLS Downtown—the Beekman has them all beat through sheer photogeneity, including cast-iron banisters, patterned rugs, and marble aplenty, plus a show-stopping pyramidal skylight.
The gilded nine-storey atrium of the Beekman is already the stuff of legend.
Of course, during a time when it feels like so many cherished New York landmarks and institutions are going the way of the Victrola (or the cassette tape, what have you), there’s something triumphant about a true landmark with impeccable historical credentials getting a second chance. All those Edgar Allen Poe curiosities on display in the lobby and the atrium make sense once you discover that Poe used to work here, back when the Temple Court Building held offices, and before it received historic landmark status in 1998. It also holds the distinction of being home to the first performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in New York City.
The rooms themselves are simultaneously luxurious and hipster-y, offering features like sliding wooden barn doors, leather headboards, vintage chandelier fixtures, off-beat lamps, craft cocktail tables, and marbled bathrooms with rain showers. Meanwhile, the floral patterned hallways only add to the old-timey Victorian feel.
For food, there’s a restaurant off the atrium by Tom Colicchio, called Fowler and Wells, and also a Keith McNally restaurant, called Augustine, scheduled to open this fall. The atrium’s The Bar Room also serves small bites—so-called “Savory Dishes and Sweet Things” such as clams casino, steak tartare, and peach melba.
Sidle up to the bar, relax at one of the chess coffee tables, or pull a tome off the shelves (Poe, obviously). This place might be old as it gets in New York, but it’s newly built for you to stay a while—and once you check into the Beekman, you’ll never want to leave.
The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, 123 Nassau St, New York, NY 10038, (212) 233-2300