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Thread: Flatiron Building - 175 Fifth Avenue @ Broadway - by Daniel Burnham

  1. #76


    i loved the flatiron building when i came to New York. I've got a really good picture of me standing in front of it - very nice

  2. #77


    senseofwonder on Flickr
    September 8, 2007

  3. #78


    ^^ That's a great shot. Again (as I said aaaaaaages ago) I love the detail they put into the cladding. Those small intrusions and extrusions, and the amazing detail of the sculptures and statues all the way up the building... marvelous.

    What are they doing with the sides of the building? I've seen several shots in the last year with scaffolding (or whatever that ^^ is) along one side of the building, and now it's moved to the other side.

  4. #79


    Building Review: Flatiron Building

    Jessica Foldhazy

    Issue date: 3/28/08 Section: Tesselations

    The Flatiron District, named thus circa 1985 to attract business to the area, is a small neighborhood in Manhattan, bounded by 14th Street to the South, Sixth Avenue to the West, 28th Street to the North and Lexington Avenue to the East. It may only represent a small portion of New York City, but it is dense in its cultural, historical and architectural content.

    Named for the famous Flatiron Building, the Flatiron District not only boasts this famous landmark, but also the New York Life Building, with its trademark gold pyramid roof, and the MetLife Building, with its distinctive clock tower. Architecture aside, the area is also home to Madison Square Park, numerous restaurants and bars, and plenty of stores.

    The Flatiron Building, located at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, earned its name from its close semblance to a clothes iron when viewed in plan, being only 6.5 feet wide at its rounded tip. However, it was officially named the Fuller Building, after George A. Fuller whose company funded its construction. At its completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in New York City and passersby used to make bets about how long the narrow building could stand up to the harsh winds in that area. The building was designed by Daniel Burnham in the Beaux-Arts style and, typical to taller buildings of that era, it resembles a classical Greek column with its limestone and glazed terra-cotta façade being divided into three horizontal sections. The Flatiron Building was one of the first buildings to employ a steel skeleton structure. This was innovative at the time of construction and therefore allowed it to rise to a height of 285 feet, or 22 stories. Despite theories of it toppling over, this U.S. National Landmark is still standing and is very well known. Visitors are able to enter the lobby to view pictures and read more about the Flatiron's history and construction.

    Diagonally to the northeast of the Flatiron, the New York Life Building stands forty stories tall on the original site of Madison Square Garden, which was designed by noted architect Stanford White and remained at the site until 1925. As its name suggests, The New York Life Building serves as the headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company and was designed with the intent of creating a lasting symbol for the company. Designed by Cass Gilbert, who also designed the Woolworth Building, it was completed in 1928 and impressively inhabits an entire city block at 51 Madison Avenue, which is a rarity in New York City. Gilbert chose a Neo-Gothic style for the building, which is evident in the incorporation of both Gothic gargoyles and more geometric Art Deco details. Clad in 440,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and boasting rich detailing around its windows and entrances, the building elegantly illustrates the transition in skyscraper design that occurred from the early 1900's into the late 1920's, when the Art Deco style became predominant.
    As if the exterior facades are not enough to dazzle you by their sheer enormity, the lobby of the New York Life Building is even more stunning.

    Security clearance is required to walk the lobby, but you can sneak a peek if you are just slipping in the Park Avenue entrance for the number 6 train downtown, or to grab dinner and drinks at Houston's. The lobby is especially breathtaking during Christmas time, and like the Flatiron and the MetLife Buildings, the New York Life Building is also a National Landmark.

    Construction of a new luxury high-rise condominium building, One Madison Park, threatens to steal the glory of these treasured buildings. The new tower may or may not impose on the MetLife Building's 614 foot rise, which was the world's tallest from 1909 to 1913, when the Woolworth Building stole the title. The four buildings mentioned here, in addition to the New York State Appellate Court, another building of note, all proudly flank Madison Square Park.

    Madison Square Park sits right in the heart of the Flatiron District. Named for President James Madison, the park is a lovely retreat for anyone looking to take a break from work or shopping, or just to catch up on a little history. The park encompasses 6.8 acres, is home to more than five monuments, and, since its renovation in 2001, has been incredibly well kept. It serves as both a community gathering spot as well as an outdoor art gallery. The Madison Square Park Conservancy, which resulted from an initiative to maintain the park following its major renovation, has a schedule of events for all ages available on its website, including concerts, food festivals and readings. This past year, the park displayed three stainless steel sculptures by artist Roxy Paine. Conjoined, which featured two interconnected trees, rose out of the main lawn in the middle of the park like the two fabricated metal trees belonged there. It was not uncommon to find a person or two napping or reading against the trunks as if it was the most natural thing ever, to be leaning against a stainless steel tree. The next installation will run from March 20 to April 27, 2008 and is set to be an internet-based piece by Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied titled Online Newspapers: New York Edition. It will be displayed daily on four outdoor video screens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. near the Shake Shack. The Shake Shack is a small burger and shake joint located on the park grounds which also serves wine and beer. It is a convenient place to grab a bite, but be warned: the prices are steep, the lines get long on a nice day, and I've been told it isn't the cleanest place in town. The building is said to be of architectural notoriety, but in my opinion, that's an overstatement.

    If you are looking for a quick and tasty lunch, I encourage you to try Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop at 174 Fifth Avenue. This old-school deli has been around since 1929 thanks to loyal customers and Victor, the man behind the counter who keeps the place running. Service is fast and friendly, even during the lunch rush, the sandwiches are delicious, and you even get free pickles on the side. Wash it all down with a Lime Rickey or Dr. Brown's Cel-ray soda. For under $10, it doesn't get much better than that, unless of course you take it to go and stretch out on the lawn at the park while you eat. A quick cat nap in the grass isn't such a bad idea either. I have done it and many others have, too. The park is typically filled with nannies and kids during the day, so it's a safe place to recoup mid-afternoon.

    The Flatiron District is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about New York City history, but it is also a great shopping area. Toward the south end you can find stores like Lucky Jeans, BCBG Max Azaria and Bath and Body Works, and just beyond that are more stores and then Union Square. Closer to the PATH stop at 23rd Street are favorites like Best Buy and Barnes and Noble, as well as New York City's first Home Depot store, which occupies yet another beautiful building in that area. Also on 23rd Street, a half block from the PATH, are two shoe stores: Medici and Shoegasm. They are a bit pricey, but they always seem to have sales going on.

    If you are just visiting for fun, right out of the PATH station on 23rd Street is one of my favorite places: Limerick House. The bartenders are always hospitable and there is never a dull moment: the crowd that gathers there is entertaining in itself. I shall leave it at that. But if you'd rather go home for a drink, stop in at Manor House Cellar only a few doors down and take home a bottle from their sophisticated yet affordable wine collection.

    In a nutshell, it is really hard to sum up all the Flatiron District has to offer. This is only a small sampling of my favorite spots in the area so I urge you to go out and explore for yourself. I have worked in the area for over two years and have not even seen it all yet! The Museum of Sex and the Gershwin Hotel, both on 27th Street, are still on my to-do list. Apparently the Gershwin has some Andy Warhol works on display, so I will have to check that out. This area is really my favorite in New York City, thus far, so I hope you get to know and love it the way I do.

  5. #80


    When I was visiting the city for the first time in 2005, one of my biggest disappointments was the Flatiron Building, which was covered at it's northern end by a giant advertising banner.

    I made the journey down there but never took a proper photo.

    You could see the banner from the Empire State Building.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by brianac; March 30th, 2008 at 02:30 PM.

  6. #81


    ^ That advert's a shame - it wasn't there when i visited i'm glad to say, and i got pictures of it in all its glory.

    The Flatiron building is one of my favourite buildings in NYC, and one of my first destinations when i left my hotel.

    Draping adverts all over it is sacrilege.

  7. #82
    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Isle of Manna-hata


    The advertisements are gone now, aren't they? I think there is still scaffolding, though. I have been in NY for almost three years now and I think there has been scaffolding on the Flatiron the whole time. A shame.

  8. #83


    Yes. When I was there, the advertisements were removed but yes, like Optimus Prime said, there still seems to be scaffolding.

    That was taken last week, Tuesday.
    Last edited by The Benniest; April 1st, 2008 at 09:33 AM.

  9. #84


    They are still working on the west facade, there are two lifts attached to the outside and a sidewalk shed.

  10. #85


    ^ what exactly are they doing to it with this scaffolding - Renovating?

    Why is it taking so long?

  11. #86


    I wonder the same thing, still restoring the facade, from my office kitchen you can see big chunks of masonry that are missing.

  12. #87


    The Flatiron appears to be scaffolding-free after seeing views via Empire State Building EarthCam this afternoon:

  13. #88

  14. #89
    Senior Member DMAG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Trumbull, CT


    So how long until they sheath this one in a "color of the week" glass curtain wall?


  15. #90


    Its a landmark. Impossible.

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