The Flat Iron Building on 23rd Street and 5th Avenue is….
You know what? I was actually going to say it is a staple in New York City. Yeah. It is. But there are literally thousands of staples holding Manhattan together! Everywhere you go! Everywhere you turn! Even if you stay still! So I must skim the surface of this beautiful structure while still mentioning that I have the hope to return throughout the year to find other angles, other views, other tidbits… But I do not know if I will be back. Just today, while taking a picture of the Flat Iron Building, my eye was wandering over to the building next door… which was also dressed to impress with intricate details, shapely curves, and… well, it is a building, so I guess that is it.
The Flat Iron Building, first opened in 1902, was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. It is twenty-two stories and 307 feet. All the talking heads at the time called it “Burnham’s Folly,” because they were absolutely certain the triangular shape in the windiest section of Manhattan would simply topple over. We are still waiting…
Fun fact: They neglected to install ladies water closets. So, after radical science determined that women do more than gossip and powder noses on the wide flat Earth, they decided to list the mens rooms and re-badged ladies rooms on opposing floors.
More importantly, the detail on this building is absolutely stellar and has understandably been attracting photographers for decades and decades.
Another interesting aspect is the position of this building plays an interesting trick on the afternoon sunlight. Just like crossing over from the light to the dark side of the moon, so does the overwhelming cast of shadow from this tower. It is exaggerated at the front end due to the triangular shape, which makes it far more peculiar than the normal light to dark as you turn the corner with a regular box-shaped building.
You wouldn’t know it from the photos of the building everyone takes, but if you were to have a custom desk to fit in the arced leading edge space, and positioned yourself so that you were facing out the leading edge window as you worked, you would have a beautiful clear view of the Empire State Building just twelve short blocks away. That... is what makes it worth the rent. ; )