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23 Beekman Place—Paul Rudolph’s townhouse—is landmarked

November 20, 2010

On Tuesday November 16, one of the few buildings in New York City designed by Paul Rudolph was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Beginning in 1977, Rudolph renovated and expanded 23 Beekman Place in Manhattan—a townhouse built in the late 1860s—creating a four-story penthouse for himself with rental units below. Until his death in 1997, the penthouse remained a work in progress and a laboratory for experimentation.

Rudolph was one of the most significant and gifted architects of his generation. He was the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture and designed major projects across the United States and in Asia. His remarkable spatial sensibility is well exemplified in the complex interior of the penthouse.

Preserving Rudolph’s legacy is especially urgent now. Many of his works have recently been demolished and others continue to be threatened. Both the Riverview High School in Sarasota, FL and the Micheels House in Westport, CT have recently been demolished. There are plans to tear down Chorley Elementary School in Middletown, NY and the Orange County Government Center in Goshen, NY. The 23 Beekman Place designation does not include the penthouse interior, which has already been somewhat altered.

Courtesy: Paul Rudolph Foundation