Welcome to the Archives of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. The purpose of this online database is to function as a tool for scholars, students, architects, preservationists, journalists and other interested parties. The archive consists of photographs, slides, articles and publications from Rudolph’s lifetime; physical drawings and models; personal photos and memorabilia; and contemporary photographs and articles.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and drawings are copyright © The Estate of Paul Rudolph and The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation to get permission to use any drawings or photos. Drawings, sketches and other materials produced by Rudolph’s architectural office at the Library of Congress are maintained there for preservation, but the intellectual property rights belong to the Paul Rudolph Estate and Ernst Wagner, founder of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.
Address: 23 Beekman Place
City: New York
State: New York
Zip Code: 10022
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 40.75338, -73.96457
Floors (Above Ground):
Client: Paul Rudolph
Architect: Paul Rudolph
Contractor: Omar Building Corporation
Subcontractor(s): Henry Y. Mann (Electrical); J-Lo and Associates (Plumbing); William A. Swartz & Son Corp. (A.C.); Garden State Brickface (Exterior Stucco)
Rudolph Residence - 23 Beekman Place
Rudolph purchased the building for $300,000.
He lived in the 23 Beekman Place from the early 1960’s until his passing in 1997. He had occupied the fourth-floor apartment as a tenant, before purchasing the building in 1976.
The same year ownership was officially transferred to Rudolph, he submitted a set of drawings to New York’s Department of Buildings which radically challenged the zoning codes of Manhattan—particularly the tastes and conventions of that street, a neighborhood with some of Manhattan’s wealthiest residents.
The proposal adapted the existing brownstone building by adding seventeen feet of living space and terraces above the existing parapet line; and cantilevering a total of an additional 1000 square feet (distributed among all floors) beyond the townhouse’s extant East facade. That additional space would be used to create a series of terraces with surreally open (and desirable) views of the East River and Roosevelt Island.
The resulting Quadruplex, within the upper levels, and atop the building, manifested Rudolph’s unique and paradoxical stance relative to preservation and urbanism. On the one hand, it provided a counter-example to freestanding homes, and also a model for adapting the row houses which dominate New York City’s residential fabric, offering an impactful urban alternative.
While these views may have been palliative to preservationists, Rudolph also conceived of the penthouse in reaction to massive infrastructural artery of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive, an achievement of technology and infrastructure that he lauded. His early collages for the project (in which he overlaid his proposed designs on photos of the area) prove that, from the Quadruplex’s conception, it had a kinship with the expressway and celebrated the dynamic results their proximity.
The steel frame that Rudolph mounted on top of the building provided the infrastructure for inhabitation; within he deployed his theories of decoration, industrial design, and lighting.
Through the experiences of that complex space he developed new methods, testing them in his own home—the client he demanded the most of was himself. The domains of experiment encompassed landscape, the display of objects, and even the design of a series of exterior “canals” (attempted but never realized.) The design research (and results) at The Quadruplex within and atop 23 Beekman Place supported man’s most basic needs, while also providing fuel for Rudolph’s imaginative and complex oeuvre.
DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings
DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings
DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings
PHOTOS - Project Model
PHOTOS - During Construction
PHOTOS - Completed Project
PHOTOS - Current Conditions
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION
Landmark Designation Report - NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, November 16, 2010
de Alba, Roberto. (2003). Paul Rudolph: The Late Work. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.