Wednesday, 11 July 2018

New York City Landmarks No.1 – Flatiron Building

This is the first in a series of postcard collections of well known New York City landmarks. Completed in 1902 as the Fuller Building with 20 floors and a steel frame. Developed on a triangular site, its distinctive wedge shaped profile soon acquired the name Flatiron. Chicago architect Daniel Burnham was responsible for the design and specified the finish on the façade, limestone at the bottom rising to glazed terra-cotta on the upper floors. Corner buildings always demand attention and the Flatiron quickly entered the public consciousness and over the succeeding century has become regarded as one of the city’s essential emblems. Its arrival at the junction of Fifth Avenue and Broadway coincided with the golden age of the postcard. Thus postcard images of the building are abundant and almost all feature the same head-on view. By way of variety, there are some nocturnal views as well. The present owner is an Italian property investment fund with a plan to convert the building into a hotel. The scheme has the approval of city authorities but awaits the conclusion of existing tenancies over the next few years. It will be interesting to see what happens next but the most likely outcome is yet another citadel for the seclusion of high net worth individuals.

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