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Saturday, August 07, 2010

31 in 31: #7

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton). Archives can be found at the bottom of the post and via the 31 in 31 label.

23 Beekman Place

Beekman Place is a quiet, two-block street north of the United Nations, tucked east of 1st Avenue. The penthouse of number 23 was worked on by Paul Rudolph as his home and studio from 1978 until his death in 1997. Its complex spaces were renovated and "updated" by Della Valle Bernheimer in 2004 for the multi-story, 4,100-sf space's new owner. The architects aspire that the "resulting design is an extrapolation of how Paul Rudolph might have continued his experiments—given modern innovations and new technology."

23 Beekman Place

The Paul Rudolph Foundation's blog describes the project as "a multi-story sculptural cage that cantilever[s] over the traditional neo-Georgian style townhouse below." It is a striking sight on the street of old buildings, although its presence is tempered by scaffolding currently in place for the penthouse's facade restoration. The full extent of the parasitic design is best seen from the north. The rear of the building can be seen from the dead end of East 50th Street (below), where the restoration work is in full swing. In the past the penthouse has been available for Open House New York tours; check their web site before October 9th to see if that will be the case again this year.

23 Beekman Place

#1 - Phyto Universe
#2 - One Bryant Park
#3 - Pier 62 Carousel
#4 - Bronx River Art Center
#5 - The Pencil Factory
#6 - Westbeth Artists' Housing

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