New York City Guide

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Flatiron Building

The Fuller Building or as it is better known, the Flatiron Building, was one of the tallest buildings in New York City upon its completion in 1902. The building was designed by Chicago's Daniel Burnham in the Beaux-Arts style on a triangular island block at 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway, its limestone and glazed terra cotta facade is separated into three parts horizontally. It has become very popular with tourists all trying to get that perfect photograph. With the ever growing number of tourists who travel to this great city, the Flatiron Building remains as one of New York’s “must see” attractions.

The aerodynamic shape of the building led to a wind-tunnel effect up the streets on which it was situated. Locals took an immediate interest in the building, placing bets on how far the debris would spread when the wind knocked it down and nicknaming it "the Flatiron" because of the building's resemblance to the irons of the day. Today the Flatiron is a popular spot for tourist photographs, a National Historic Landmark, and a functioning office building, currently home to several book publishers, most of them under the umbrella of Holtzbrinck Publishers. The surrounding neighbourhood came back into fashion in the 1980's and boasts chic boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and is named the Flatiron District after its signature building.

At the rounded tip, the triangular tower is only 2 meters wide. and expands into a limestone wedge adorned with Gothic and Renaissance details of Greek faces and terracotta flowers. The 22-story Flatiron Building, with a height of 87 meters (285 ft), is generally considered the oldest surviving skyscraper in Manhattan, though in fact the older Park Row Building (1899) is several stories taller.

Flatiron Building Flatiron Building Detail