Every grand hotel has a tale behind it, and the legacy of The Beekman, located a block from City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan, begins in 1883 when the Queen Anne-style landmark, then called Temple Court, opened. With its signature nine-story atrium and elaborate wrought iron work, the office building’s elegant architecture was intended to appeal to the city’s lawyers.
In 2016, the old Temple Court was reborn as The Beekman hotel, and its design is, again, making it a destination. Walking through The Beekman’s doors feels simultaneously like a step back in time and a visit to a hotel that is decidedly of the moment. Acclaimed Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki exquisitely restored the interiors while also reimagining them, with a respectful nod to the building’s Gilded Age past. The lobby’s black-and white- hexagonal patterned marble-mosaic floor, antique glass lamps, and timber-topped reception desk upholstered in Persian rugs make a grand first impression.
The crown jewel of the hotel, however, is the nine-story pyramidal atrium. While it had been closed off starting in the 1940s, it once again bathes the interior of the building in natural light and floats above the lower floors with their beautiful wrought-iron balustrades. It acts as a theatrical centerpiece to the hotel, says Brudnizki, a stage where the New York social scene gathers across a selection of intimate seating areas in Tom Colicchio’s The Bar Room, which serves handcrafted cocktails named after architects and builders-you can toast the architect of the Beekman, James Farnsworth, with a drink honoring him (a combination of bourbon, spiced pear liqueur, ginger, and lemon). The menu served continuously throughout the day includes both classic and new favorites-clams casino, tuna crudo with honeycrisp apples, and leg of lamb brochettes.
Upstairs, the 287 guest rooms are equally striking: The luxe havens feature custom oak beds with leather headboards and dressed with soft, sateen Sfeera linens. Tufted velvet sofas, Edwardian finishes, and patterned wallpapers complete the contemporary meets vintage look. The Carrera-marble tiled bathrooms are equipped with chrome rain showers and amenities from D.S. & Durga, a Brooklyn-based perfumer. The most luxurious accommodations are the penthouses, located in the building’s iconic turrets, which include stone fireplaces, Beaux-Arts chandeliers, and a private rooftop terrace.
At The Beekman, good design comes with good art, and the hotel’s collection adds to its allure. The suites and public areas showcase a curated selection of works that put an emphasis on downtown artists and the long history of the part of Manhattan where it is located, home to City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. More than 60 photographs, paintings, sculptures, and works on paper reflect influences from the 19th century. Site-specific commissions by mixed-media artist Jane Hammond (a butterfly map of Manhattan); photographer Cathy Cone (surreal Temple Court portraits); and sculptor Patrick Jacobs (a diorama of a dandelion field with clover and English daisies) blend seamlessly into the old-meets-new décor.
By incorporating fresh, seasonal spins to age-old recipes, restauranteur Tom Colicchio takes a similar approach to his cuisine as Brudnizki does to the design-giving old favorites a contemporary twist. On the menu of Temple Court, located on the ground floor of the Beekman, the tarte tatin is made of sun-gold tomatoes and peaches instead of apples, for example. Other familiar dishes, such as lobster thermidor are enhanced with tarragon and chanterelle mushrooms. These creative classics are served in a setting with exposed brick walls, wood-plank floors, gray banquettes and burgundy leather chairs with brass nails all illuminated by sunlight through a multi-colored patchwork of stained-glass window panes. From the hotel to its restaurants, what’s old is new again-with a decidedly contemporary flair-at The Beekman.