Flatiron: The Flatiron Building

Residents who live in our Stuyvesant Town apartments near Flatiron get to enjoy and appreciate a beautiful and historic neighborhood of New York City on a daily basis. In fact, the Flatiron district is named after the Flatiron Building, which has become an iconic New York City landmark over the years. In fact, the Flatiron Building was named an official New York City landmark in 1966 and was also added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979.  The Flatiron Building itself sits on a triangular block that is formed by 23rd Street, Broadway and Fifth Avenue. 


History of the Flatiron District

It wasn't until 1985 that the neighborhood began being referred to as the "Flatiron district." Before then, it was often known as the "Toy District," due to the number of toy manufacturers that were located within the area. Around the time it was renamed, the area became less commercial and more residential and experienced an influx of restaurants as well. This led to a re-branding of the neighborhood by real estate agents who were looking for a name that would be more appealing - so they took the name of the famous landmark located within the district - the Flatiron Building.


History of the Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building was originally named the Fuller Building after George A. Fuller, who was considered the father of the skyscraper. It is a triangular 22-story skyscraper that was considered groundbreaking for its design when it was first built. It was completed in 1902, it was at the time one of the tallest buildings in the city and one of only two skyscrapers located north of 14th Street. The moniker "Flatiron Building" was given by the locals due to the building's resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron. Eventually, the name was officially changed to the Flatiron Building.


The Design of the Flatiron Building

The designer responsible for the Flatiron Building was Daniel Burnham of Chicago. He designed the building as a vertical Renaissance palazzo that exhibited a Beax-Arts style. The design had much more in common with the Chicago school of design, which is known for its use of Greek columns and a facade that is divided into a base, shaft and capital. This differed from the other skyscrapers in New York, which rose up from lower and more block-like masses, such as the Singer Building. Burhnam's original design also called for a clockface in addition to a more elaborate crown. Burnham was assisted by the architect Frederick P. Dinkelberg, who worked with Burnham previously on the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.


The retail space added to the front of the ground floor of the building was not a part of the original design. This addition was made in order to maximize the lot the building would sit on as well as to help defray the cost of construction with the added retail income. Burnham did not approve of the addition, which he felt interrupted the symmetry of the design.


The Flatiron Building Today

Today, the Flatiron Building is a landmark often visited by tourists. It continues to be a functioning office building that houses the headquarters of publishing companies such as Picador and St. Martin's Press. However, the building was purchased by an Italian real estate investment firm in 2009 with plans to eventually turn the building into a world-class luxury hotel.


Residents living in our apartments near Flatiron aren't far from the Flatiron Building, one of the city's most prominent landmarks. For information about our apartments near Flatiron, contact us at our Stuy Town community today.