The Flatiron Building: An Iconic Landmark in NYC

An Architectural Icon and Landmark: The Flatiron Building

This architectural building is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York City. It is a 22-story steel-framed skyscraper that was built in 1902. Originally called the Fuller Building, the Flatiron Building is currently a National Historic Landmark. It was one of the tallest buildings in the city at the time of its construction. 

Its nickname comes from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron. It is located on the site of the former New York Tribune Building, which was demolished to make way for the Flatiron Building.

The first thing that captures the eye is the building's unique shape. However, the building's construction was not without challenges; In this blog post, we will have a closer look at this Architectural Icon and Landmark of New York City, and we'll get to know facts that many people don't know about it. So let's get started!


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The Flatiron Building in NYC, Photo by Kai Pilger

Building Site and Location

The Flatiron Building lies on a triangular lot, situated to the south of Central Park in Manhattan, New York. The lot land is formed by Fifth Avenue to the west, Broadway to the east, and East 22nd Street to the south. Where Fifth Avenue and Broadway intersect with East 23rd Street, the western and eastern facades converge, forming a "peak". (See photos from Google Maps below)


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The Flatiron building situation in Manhattan, Photo: Google maps

This diagonal alignment results from Broadway's placement relative to Manhattan's street grid. The site measures 197.5 feet (about 60.2 m) along Fifth Avenue, 214.5 feet (about 65.4 m) along Broadway, and 86 feet (about 26 m) along 22nd Street. Three of the triangle's corners are curved above ground level.


Why is the Flatiron Building so Famous?

The Flatiron Building became famous for its unique triangular shape and its place in the history of skyscraper design. Without a doubt, it is also a beautiful architectural concept that makes a big step toward modernity and futuristic; It was one of the first steel-framed skyscrapers in the city, and when it was completed in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city at 20 stories.


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The beautiful and proportional concept of the Flatiron Building, Photo by Marlon Trottmann from Pexels

The building's shape and its situation at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street also made it a popular subject for photographers and artists. The building is also considered an early example of the Beaux-Arts architectural style.


Various Facts about the Flatiron Building You Won't Know

Here are some facts about the Flatiron Building in New York City:

  • The building is located at 175 Fifth Avenue, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street.

  • It was designed by the architect Daniel Burnham and completed in 1902.

  • The building is composed of 22 stories tall and reaches a height of 285 feet. (About 86.868 meters)

  • The building earned its nickname "Flatiron", because of its resemblance to iron clothes.

  • The building was originally established by the George A. Fuller Company, a construction firm that wanted to build a tall and iconic building on a triangular plot of land.

  • The building's steel framework was erected in just four months, which was a record at the time.


  • To address the building's vulnerability to strong winds, engineers added a system of diagonal bracing to the steel framework, which helped to stabilize the structure.

  • The Flatiron Building was one of the first skyscrapers in New York City and its success as a commercial and architectural icon led to the development of other skyscrapers in the surrounding area, transforming the neighborhood into a bustling commercial district.

  • The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1966.

  • Furthermore, the building is considered to be an early example of the “skyscraper” style of architecture. It has a steel frame that supports masonry walls and granite and marble cladding. The Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed and filmed buildings in the world and has been featured in many films and TV shows, notably the first "King Kong" movie.

  • Today, the Flatiron Building is home to various business offices and continues to be a popular tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of New York City's architectural and cultural history.


What is inside the Flatiron Building?

For most of its history, the Flatiron Building has been home to a variety of businesses, from offices and retail stores to restaurants and bars.

Recently, the building underwent a major renovation and is now home to a luxury hotel, a high-end retail space, and several upscale restaurants. So if you're ever in the neighborhood, be sure to check out the Flatiron Building and see what all the fuss is about!


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The "peak" corner of the Flatiron building as seen from the inside, Photo: Pinterest

In addition, the Flatiron Building mainly houses publishing businesses, with a few shops on the ground floor, as well as some offices.


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A current floor plan of the building features the offices stacked in a triangular layout, Photo: Reddit


Flatiron Building Architectural Facts

Some architectural facts that characteristics the building are as follows:

  • The building's facade is divided into three sections, each featuring different types of ornamentation. The Fifth Avenue facade features a large, ornate entranceway, while the Broadway and 23rd Street facades feature simpler, and more geometric designs.
  • The building is an example of the Chicago school architectural style, characterized by its use of steel-frame construction and an emphasis on function over ornamentation.
  • It was designated as a New York City landmark in 1966 and is still a popular tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of New York City's architectural history.
  • The Flatiron Building is also considered one of the first skyscrapers of New York City, and its success as a commercial and architectural icon led to the development of other skyscrapers in the surrounding area, transforming the neighborhood into a bustling commercial district.

  • The building facades feature many decorative works such as stone cladding and various ornamental architectural ironworks for its balustrades and wide openings. (see photo for details)


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Stone cladding and other ornament details featuring on the exterior elevation of the Flatiron building, Photo: Pinterest


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At the end of this quick review, the Flatiron Building was one of the tallest buildings in the city, when it was completed; Standing at 22 stories and reaching a height of 285 feet (about 86.868 meters). It quickly became a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the city's architectural and technological advancements.

Today, the building is a designated New York City landmark and architectural icon while still home to various business offices and retail shops. It is also an interesting place to visit, especially for arts and design lovers.

To conclude, watch this video about the iconic Flatiron Building, and see why this landmark skyscraper has been a symbol of American ingenuity and architectural marvel for over a century. Join us as we explore the history and significance of the Flatiron Building, and discover why it continues to captivate people from all over the world.

Enjoy this amazing tour from a drone, thanks to the Dronalist channel on YouTube.com!


© All rights reserved to the owner of the video: @theDronalist

Another valuable and historic book reference, that tells the full story of a city, and especially the one of a building situated within the city of New York.

Image Description

The Flatiron: The New York Landmark and the Incomparable City That Arose with It

The book, by the author Alice Sparberg Alexiou, tells the marvelous story of the Flatiron: the instantly recognizable building that signaled the start of a new era in New York history, as described on the Landing Page of the product. Learn more about the book here.


Order Today!

References and photos in this article:

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
- Pexels, The best free stock photos
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