The Ellen Biddle Shipman Residence THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AS ARTIST "There is not in all New York another piece of property like it, for it has the seclusion of Beekman Place, southern exposure, and a beauty of architecture combined with the extended view of the East River, said Ellen Biddle Shipman of the house, 21 Beekman Place, she redesigned in 1925 and occupied until 1946. Mrs. Shipman was... [more]
The Ellen Biddle Shipman Residence THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AS ARTIST "There is not in all New York another piece of property like it, for it has the seclusion of Beekman Place, southern exposure, and a beauty of architecture combined with the extended view of the East River, said Ellen Biddle Shipman of the house, 21 Beekman Place, she redesigned in 1925 and occupied until 1946. Mrs. Shipman was a trailblazer who studied landscape architecture under Charles A. Platt, who himself was originally a landscape painter. Shipman becoming one of the most prominent garden designers for 650 clients including Robert T, Vanderbilt, J.S. Rockefeller, Mrs. M. Mellon, Jacob Schiff, Edward F. Hutton, and Vincent Astor. Outside and in, Shipman used plants as if she were painting pictures as an artist" and the entire aesthetic of her residence benefited from her extraordinary eye.
THE RESIDENCE Occupying a superb northeast corner location this townhouse has been restored with a rare, expert precision instantly apparent from the main entry on the long East 50th Street side. A high wrought-iron and copper-topped fence surrounds the plantings and repointed facade. On the Beekman side, a planting terrace and sloped copper awning provide an elegant accent to an already fascinating facade.
A gracious front hall and elegant curved stair, marble flooring, wood-burning fireplace, access to the elevator, kitchen, and formal dining room facing the East River. The kitchen has an uncommon six-burner LeCornu range, a center island, twin SubZeros, access to the Beekman service door, and pale Jerusalem limestone flooring. The sun-flooded formal dining room with East River views has antique oak flooring in a chevron pattern that continues throughout the public spaces.
Ascending to the parlour floor via the elevator or grand curved stair, a large landing includes two windows, one of which is a large bay window created by Shipman with stunning river views. The front library features antique pine paneling, a wood-burning fireplace, a bay window and two floor-to-ceiling windows which act as doors opening onto the planting terrace overlooking Beekman Place. The east-facing living room is flooded with light from the continuous windows while the south side includes three huge tilt-shift windows. Triple-pane windows ensure both quiet and panoramic views of the East River and beyond, a benefit only possible with north, east, and south exposures. <b
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