Flatiron Building

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The Fuller Building or as it is better known, the Flatiron Building, is located in the borough of Manhattan, and was one of the tallest buildings in New York City upon its completion in 1902. The building was designed by Chicago's Daniel Burnham with John Wellborn Root in the Beaux-Arts style on a triangular island block at 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway, facing Madison Square.

Like a classical Greek column, its limestone and glazed terra-cotta façade 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.

The initial design by Daniel Burnham shows a similar design to the one constructed, but with a far more elaborate crown with numerous set backs near the pinnacle. A clock face can also be seen. However, under the advice of John Wellborn Root, this was removed from the design.

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. 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.

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 area of Manhattan is named the Flatiron District for its signature building.

The signature edge of the Flatiron Building was covered in black scaffolding from December 2005 to March 2006 for renovations. Sidewalk-level scaffolding remains.

I found myself agape, admiring a skyscraper — the prow of the Flatiron Building, to be particular, ploughing up through the traffic of Broadway and Fifth Avenue in the late-afternoon light."
-- H.G. Wells, 1906


[edit] Appearance in popular culture

[edit] References

  • Skyscrapers, Antonino Terranova, White Star Publishers, 2003 (ISBN-8880952307)

[edit] External links

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Flatiron Building

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