Flatiron Building New York City | Architecture | Design

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History of Flatiron Building, New York City

Originally known as Fuller Building, or commonly known Flatiron Building, is a 22-story, triangular building with steel frame. It’s a landmark located in the heart of New york City in 175 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, in the neighborhood of the Flatiron District, NYC (New York City) named after the building. It was a remarkable advancement in the field of architecture in the late 20th century. The Flatiron Building height measures at 94 meters (308 foot) tall.

Flatiron building new york city

The building was completed in 1902 by the American architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham. The Flatiron Building was a significant achievement in the terms of architectural design and occurrence of steel skyscraper in the US. The Flatiron building triangular design is very famous, whose presence at the 5th Avenue and Broadway has brought a change in the entire area. It was one of the tallest building at the time of its completion in the city.

 Architecture and Design

The Flatiron Building architect Daniel Burnham was very aesthetic with the Beaux-Arts styling. The building was way different from the others skyscraper, that were present at the time. Unlike the towers with a bulky base, the Flatiron Building has a more classical Greek column structure. The facade is divided into a base, shaft, and capital, as the floor rises.

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The steel structure was used in the building to make it a 22-story skyscraper, which was the only suitable method that can be used for construction at that time. Such techniques were used by Fuller Company, a contracting firm with experience in building such tall and heavy structures at that time.

Flatiron building front view

The “Cowcatcher” retail space at the facade of the Flatiron building was not in the original design by Daniel Burnham, but rather forced by Harry Black. Black did it in order to fully utilize the building’s lot and to have some income, which can help chip in the cost of construction. There was another addition to the building, which was not in the original plan by the Daniel Burnham, it’s the penthouse. The penthouse was constructed to be used by the artists, after the completion of the building.

Also See: Some Interesting Facts About Statue of Liberty

The building was owned by Harry Black, CEO of the Fuller company, which is a contracting firm that specializes in steel structure and skyscrapers at that time. It was originally named ‘Fuller Building’, which was later changed to Flatiron Building after its shape and been regarded as a historical site and landmark. This building in New York has been recognized as one of the most famous buildings in the history of architecture.

Building’s Features and Building Materials used

Burnham used his experience from his earlier work in designing the skyscrapers, namely the Rookery and Reliance Building. The Flatiron has a firm base and has a steel structure, which provides the strength to its base before it moves towards the top or the capital. The structure is covered in limestone and glazed terra-cotta, which provides more strength to the structure.

Flatiron Building

The triangular site and the narrow profile creates an interesting structural area within the building, the narrow cornered offices open up to panaromic views of the Manhattan town. There were a lot of speculation between the New Yorker’s who believed that the Flatiron Building will not be able to withstand the winds Manhattan comes across with.

However, all the misconceptions were proved wrong, as the buildings architectural steel-frame structure was designed to withstand the force four times the typical wind force the Manhattan usually faces.

Even though there was initially negative response towards the building, it managed to gain the popularity and a whole neighborhood district was named after it as Flatiron District. For over more than a century, since the construction of this iconic landmark, it has been an architectural icon and one of the most visited tourist attraction in Manhattan.

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