LENS

October 4, 2011

5 Beekman Street – New York, NY; October 2nd, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — wally426 @ 10:21 pm

Built in 1882, this magnificent structure has languished in downtown Manhattan for decades. Recently, a developer came in with the intention of revitalizing the building and made some amazing discoveries. The NY Times article below details some of 5 Beekman’s wild history. Thanks again to Hillel Spillman for letting me check out this gem without having to weasel my way in through the cracks…

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/nyregion/21building.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

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The Beast – Northern Exposure

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Eastern Exposure

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Southern Exposure

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Playing Corners

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Glassed from the Past

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Ghost Stairs

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Each floor had trap doors to hoist safes down to the ground floor

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Shadows of the building skeleton were everywhere…

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The peeling paint showed 5 Beekman’s long history better than anything else. There must have been six or seven layers on some walls, it was beautiful and sad all at once…

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This guy was trying in vain to get out. He flapped himself upside down on the floor, covering his wings in dust. I picked him up, threw him out of an open window and he dusted off and fluttered away

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The Atrium – One of the building’s most redeemable characteristics…

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At one point in the building’s history, it served as a keeper of hospital records

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PitMouth

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5 Beekman’s family grew up tall around her. When she was born in 1882, she was as tall as most of the buildings on the island. Now, she’s the dwarfed older sister…

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One WTC Rising

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Reflecting on Gehry

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Knock/Noggin

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The Elevator room – I was afraid of stepping on the white (cement) bubbles. If broken, they would have taken someone right down the shaft, 100+ feet below. It smelled like my grandfather’s basement in there – old grease and electricity

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Thing’umabobz

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Doohickeys

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Pin/Wheel

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‘VatorGutz

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I saw two of these really old ladders around the building. One here in the elevator room and one in the bowels of the basement. Two of the furthest places they could have possibly been from each other.

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Wallpeeler

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Detailed ironwork was everywhere. The one thing missing from today’s buildings is attention to detail – they give buildings such character. Some of the finer examples were found in the stairwells and on the ceilings of the building…

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Floor to ceiling details

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The infamous Iron Dragons – These were uncovered when the sheet rock was removed a few years back.

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Railings

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Down

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Up

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Rumor has it that there was once Tiffany Glass in the lattice of steel engravings on the staircase. This was unfortunately ripped out years ago by developers who has no clue of its worth.

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Hopefully the developers will utilize this courtyard. Looks like they were in the process of filling in the windows with some frosty nonsense.

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Upward thinking

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Self-ish

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By Way

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No light needed – The Atrium is one of the most striking aspects of 5 Beekman. This gem was covered-up with sheet rock for decades, which ended up preserving the magnificent lattice of iron work up above. 

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Looking down from the 6th Floor

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Looking up from ground-level

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Test/Time

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Through-Way

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While each room was bare, each had its own character. It was interesting seeing the different layouts with different spatterings of paint which peeled back in layers. You could see where desks had been, where things had been spilt decades before. In rare cases, you could see the charred remains of timbers between the floorboards from a fire 120 years ago. One thing was certain, this place was built to last.

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Photo shoot leftovers – At one point, they turned the place into a Garden Of Eden with all kinds of leaves and such.

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In and Out of Shadows

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The original elevators – According to a NY Times article from September of 1882, they were capable of carrying the occupant nine floors in thirty seconds, some of the fastest lifts in the world.

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Take the dust… leave the tiles

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More film shoot leftovers – The glass on top of the piano had a huge spider in it

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MonstroCity – Scenes from the basement of 5 Beekman. It was pretty creepy down there with the lighting…

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Broken

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Nightmare on Beekman Street

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Piesa-cotta

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This area will be a night club once all of the renovations are finished

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Shlitz Throwback

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Found this old sign buried in dirt behind one of the pipes

5 Comments »

  1. Awesome…you must have been like a kid in a candy store. Atrium pics are great, love the PitMouth and what building is complete without a Schlitz can? 🙂

    Comment by Mitch — October 5, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

  2. WOW! would have loved to have been there! Times article was so interesting and pics are amazing! Wonder how mom would have done in the elevator????????????
    Nevets

    Comment by Anonymous — October 5, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  3. great shots! Always a pleasure.

    p.

    Comment by Paul — October 6, 2011 @ 1:07 am

  4. She wouldn’t have made it. Even the elevator ROOM would have freaked her out

    Comment by wally426 — October 6, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  5. Another lost structure most New Yorkers do not know exists. We would not have the opportunity to experience this beauty if you didn’t take time, take photos, and share with us. Amazing!

    Comment by Mom — October 7, 2011 @ 1:11 am


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