Landmarks Designates the Temple Court Building (Beekman Hotel) Atrium as an Interior Landmark

The atrium and skylight of the Temple Court Building, now operating as the Beekman Hotel. Image Credit: LPC.

On June 4, 2024, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Temple Court Building (now the Beekman Hotel) Atrium as an interior landmark. The Temple Court Building and Annex, located at 12213 Nassau Street in lower Manhattan, was designated as a New York City individual landmark in 1998. The building and its ornate atrium are rare examples of a full-height interior skylighted atrium inside a late-19th century office building. 

The Temple Court Building was designed in 1881 by Silliman & Farnsworth for Eugene Kelly. The building opened in 1883 and featured over 200 offices arranged around an ornate atrium that rose nine stories and features a large pyramidal skylight with decorative metalwork. At the time, atriums were becoming popular fixtures in buildings as office buildings continued to grow taller, as the atriums brought light and ventilation for the people inside. Atriums became popular features for hotels, libraries, and department stores too. 

Eventually, like many atriums at the time, the Temple Court Building’s atrium was sealed off due to fire safety concerns. In recent years, the atrium went through a sensitive restoration, which included a new fire safety system that brought the atrium into compliance with modern safety codes, which allowed it to be reopened to the public. Other restorative work included the plasterwork, door and window enframements, floor and wall finishes, and the historic ironwork, which were restored to match their original appearance. The restoration was a part of the building’s conversion to the Beekman Hotel in 2013. 

By establishing the atrium as an interior landmark, both the building’s exterior and interior are protected by landmarks law. For photos of the atrium, click here.

Landmark Chair Sarah Carroll stated, “The Temple Court Building’s stunning skylighted atrium combined engineering ingenuity with beautiful design and incredible workmanship and helped make this building one of the most celebrated downtown towers of its era. Looking up through multiple stories of decorative cast-iron galleries to the skylight is truly breathtaking. Thanks to a careful and sensitive restoration that adapted this tower and atrium to meet a new use and reopened this space as part of the site’s transformation into The Beekman Hotel, this historic atrium is once again able to be viewed and appreciated, and its designation ensures it will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)




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