In its final turn as New York City’s quirky event space du jour before being converted into a boutique hotel, the majestically dilapidated Beekman Palace opened its doors on Friday to the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s 30th anniversary gala. It was the perfect crowd to bid goodbye to all that peeling paint and raw ironwork, as supporters like Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Charles Renfro, and Toshiko Mori happily braved the chill of the unheated glass atrium to celebrate with the beloved cross-disciplinary institution. Under the circumstances, the bar’s whisky supply may have been the first thing to succumb to popular demand but the contents of the night’s special auction were a close second: Rumor had it that all the donated artworks except for a $18,000 Louis Kahn drawing were sold, with a bidding war erupting over a pen-and-pencil doodle by the artist Tom Sachs. As guests perused the works and discussed their plans to visit the upcoming Venice Biennale, custom sound installations by Vito Acconci and Jon Santos hummed in the background, making the evening a feast for both the eyes and the ears.

Photos: Carly Otness