The Beekman, the latest luxury hotel to open in New York

The Temple Court complex in New York City has returned to life as a luxury hotel, The Beekman Hotel (A Thompson Hotel) . One of the earliest skyscrapers in the Big Apple (it has nine stories which was pretty impressive back in the 1800s), the building has been returned to its former glory much as it was in 1881.

A historic New York City landmark which operated for most of its life as an office building has reopened as the city’s newest luxury hotel (The Beekman) and dining destination, anchored by the star power of celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally.

Built in 1881 as one of Manhattan’s first skyscrapers, The Beekman hotel has been restored to its former glory and opened its doors recently, greeting guests with a soaring nine-storey Victorian atrium and pyramidal skylight.

Victorian cast iron railings, balustrades and dragon-shaped cast iron brackets also serve as a reminder of the building’s 19th century heritage

Located in lower Manhattan’s new downtown between the East and Hudson Rivers, The Beekman features 287 rooms decorated in vintage furnishings collected from antique dealers around the world. Guests slumber in custom-designed oak beds and bathrooms are tiled in Carrara marble.

Along with out-of-town guests, the hotel also aims to draw in the locals with two star-powered dining destinations: Fowler & Wells by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, and Augustine, by restaurateur Keith McNally, whose restaurant credits include Balthazar, Pastis, and Morandi.

At Fowler & Wells, diners tuck into a menu featuring modern American dishes that make nostalgic nods to the cuisine of turn-of-the-century New York City, with dishes like lobster Thermidor and beef Wellington.

At the brasserie-style restaurant Augustine, the menu includes French classics and a special rotisserie and grillades section for meats, fish and poultry.

In its former life, the hotel was used mostly as an office building for lawyers, publishers, press agents, advertising agencies and architects.

The facade of the hotel was declared an official New York City Landmark in 1998.