Paul Rudolph is a well-known modernist architect. His vision for the 23 Beekman Townhouse is considered a masterpiece. With four original levels and a five-level penthouse addition, the building is instantly recognizable. It’s currently on the market for $28 million.
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The History of 23 Beekman Townhouse
The home was originally built in 1867 as a single-family townhouse. Things get interesting when Paul Randolph rents a room in 1961. In 1974, Paul saw an opportunity when the housing market dropped sharply in 1974. He purchased the entire townhouse. It then became a creative laboratory that allowed him to explore his architectural style. This style is still reflected in the building today.
More recent renovations were commissioned by the current owners. The work on the home received an American Institute of Architecture Award. They held to Rudolph’s vision, updating the building with a focus on maintaining his unique style.
Paul Rudolph’s Renovations
Paul Rudolph renovated the original five floors. He added a four-story cantilever penthouse. It’s a modern masterpiece. You’ll find white steel I-beams, extensive use of glass, and floating staircases. The first floor has one bedroom and two bathrooms.
The second and third suites are two-story units. They each have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The penthouse has three bedrooms and bathrooms. Each of the residences has its own balcony with an enviable view of the river. Other amenities include fireplaces, a fully renovated chef’s kitchen, and bridges.
It’s said that the penthouse is a glimpse into Rudolph’s mind. One of the most remarkable things is the light curtain installed in the master bedroom to give the impression of infinite space. This was done by hanging a strip of lightbulbs in front of a mirrored wall.
Airy and Modern Style
The townhouse has a light airy style that is modern and original yet still maintains a classic feel. It’s been featured in several movies, including The Royal Tenenbaums. The spaces are open and high ceilinged. Light is used in unique ways throughout the townhouse.
The penthouse living room sums up the style. It has white walls and white tile floors that is cantilevered to add interest. This is accented by a black fireplace that is both stately and minimalistic. There’s also a white bench seating area that runs across a glass wall in the living room.
On the other hand, the use of steel and glass, paired with such stark black and white decor would feel austere or cold. However, Rudolph made it feel comfortable and inviting. It feels like stepping into a world slightly different than the one you are used to, and perhaps a bit more fun.