NYC - Flatiron Building (detail)
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. Designed by Chicago's Daniel Burnham with John Wellborn Root in the Beaux-Arts style, it also bears the influence of architectural trends introduced at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, combining elements of French and Italian Renaissance. Its triangular plan was a clever response to the awkward site produced by the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue at at 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway, facing Madison Square.
Like a classical Greek column, its limestone and glazed terra-cotta façade, whose forms simulate the effects of rustication, is separated into three parts horizontally. Since it was one of the first buildings to use a steel skeleton, the building could be constructed to 285 feet, which would have been very difficult with other construction methods of that time. At the rounded tip, the triangular tower is only 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide. The 22-story Flatiron Building, with a height of 285 ft (87 meters), is often considered the oldest surviving skyscraper in Manhattan, though in fact the Park Row Building (1899) is both older and taller.
When completed, it was officially named the Fuller Building after the building's promoter George Fuller. 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. The building is also said to have helped coin the phrase "23 skidoo" or scram, from what cops would shout at men who tried to get glimpses of women's dresses being blown up by the winds created by the triangular building.
Today the Flatiron is a home to several book publishers, most of them under the umbrella of Holtzbrinck Publishers. It was featured in the Spiderman movies as the office of the newspaper, the Daily Bugle.
The Ladies Mile Historic District, an irregular district defined roughly from 18th Street to 24th Street and Park Avenue South to Avenue of the Americas, preserves 440 buildings on 28 blocks. Between the Civil War and World War I, the district was the location of some of New York's most famous department stores, including Lord & Taylor, B. Altman, W. & J. Sloane, Arnold Constable, Best & Co., and Bergdorf Goodman. Also included is Daniel H. Burnham's Flatiron Building, at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street; most of the Ladies' Mile Historic District lies within the Manhattan neighborhood named after that building, the Flatiron District.
In 2007, the Flatiron Building was ranked #72 on the AIA 150 America's Favorite Architecture list.
The Flatiron Building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966. The Ladies Mile Historic District was designated a historic district by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1989.
National Register #79001603 (1979)