The Palace At 5 Beekman Street

1501 words - 6 pages

The Palace of 5 Beekman Street: The Past, Present, and FutureOf a Newly Discovered Forgotten LandmarkPeople often think that everything noteworthy in New York City has been discovered and widely publicized. The cities vast and intricate infrastructure is something to be marveled at and exposed to world. The city's infamous skyscrapers, parks, unique media, and one of a kind cultures, have all been widely attributed to the city's grandeur and illustriousness. However, the world has seemed to forget about one large piece of the city's prestigious façade. The palace located at 5 Beekman Street has been abandoned for over 70 years. This building is not just one of NYC's abandoned, rundown, factories or decrepit structures, but is a 9 story, beautifully crafted edifice that happens to be one of the first skyscrapers built in the city. The location is in limbo with its future purpose being debated, and this very teetering of the buildings potential use is what makes it such an interesting site. It is by all means an art world not only for its stunning architectural construction, but for always evolving use of the space. From the building's first tenants of offices and residences, to more recently movie sets and catwalks, this building has been used for many things and it is widely agreed that it is its abandoned stark interior that lends itself to artistic manipulation.The marvelous building was erected between the years of 1881 through 1883 by the means of extremely wealthy Irish banker Eugene Kelly. He was a self-made millionaire by his success in banking after following the gold rush to San Francisco (Wilson). Kelly accumulated a net worth of about twenty-five million dollars, which is the equivalent of about 630 million dollars by today's standards. Builders of the time were looking higher than the common four-story structures throughout the city, and from 1870 to 1890, nine and ten story buildings grew between Bowling Green and City Hall. The Kelly Building acquired 9 stories, with two corner towers stretching one story higher.The Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide commended the timing of Kelly's ambitious construction project by stating,The demand for offices is no longer confined to the neighborhood of the Stock, Mining, Cotton and Produce Exchanges. All the great industries, which are represented in New York, are using offices instead of stores, and these last are very profitable. (Dunlap)By March 1882, the building had been christened Temple Court, due to the anticipation of its many law offices. It was completed a year later.The merchant Irish-American multimillionaire commissioned the palace to be designed by prominent architects of the time, Silliman and Farnsworth. The Neo-Greco, Queen Anne, and Renaissance revival style building was fabricated from an assortment of materials which included red Philadelphia brick, tan Dorchester stone, and terracotta, all above a two-story granite base (Wilson).When Eugene Kelly died, he asked...

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