Interior court of 5 Beekman, soon to be Beekman Residences. Photo by Rob Boudon
We’ve already covered the renovation plans that began a little while ago for 5 Beekman Street, the impressive Temple Court. The building, once an abandoned favorite for New York City’s explorers, is in the midst of restoration to become the Beekman Hotel. As this renovation takes place and with the hotel opening on February 1, 2016, we’ve compiled some of our favorite secrets of this address.
10. New York City’s First Performance of Hamlet Took Place On this Site
Before the building of the current structure that sits on 5 Beekman Street, it was the Chapel Street Theater. On November 26, 1761, Shakespeare’s Hamlet was first performed in New York City at this theater. This helped pave the way for the area to become known as “Theater Alley.”
According to The Memorial History of the City of New-York, David Douglass created the theater out of wood. It was also the site of the first “egging.” However, a group of people rioting against the Stamp Act destroyed this theater in 1766.