Distinctive and unique, the Flatiron building has caught the eye of millions of New Yorkers and tourists alike. Despite that fact that the triangular shape looks like a household ‘iron’, it was actually named after the section of New York City that is called the FlatIron District and where there are a vast number of cast iron structures that surround it.
Built in 1902 and designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, the building sits on 23rd street, between Broadway and 5th Ave; hence, it’s triangular shape. Its construction bypassed the well known load bearing wall design that was popular during this period. Rather, it utilized the ‘new’ steel frame construction to support the building. Being that this steel frame design was fairly new and together with its odd shape, some people were skeptical that it would remain standing. Some even referred to it as “Burnham’s Folly”.
However, the 22 story terracotta, Beaux Arts skyscraper remains standing today, 113 years later. It has inspired New York architects and developers to build higher, without concern of a Burnham Folly.
In the photo left, if you stand directly under the building, at the corner of 5th Ave and Broadway, you will see the most narrower part of the building, and viewing the building from a distance, you can definitely admire its terra cota facade.
Looking 30 years to the future, this inspiration had become reality, forever changing the skyline of New York and many other cities.