The Flatiron Building: NYC Architectural Landmarks to See | Visit the Flatiron Building in New York on Our Downtown Tour

Flatiron Building

Location: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

The Flatiron Building: An Iconic Iron-Shaped Building in New York

Located at the intersection of Broadway and 5th Ave. in New York City, the historic Flatiron Building is one of the most distinctive landmarks in not only Manhattan but the entire city. Although today, we celebrate the Flatiron Building, New York didn’t welcome the strange new addition at first. The distinctive wedge-shaped building garnered many negative reviews when it was built in 1902. The New York Times went as far as to call it a monstrosity. Time, legend, and the building’s unique architecture, however, soon made the building a top landmark among NYC’s attractions.

How Fuller Became Flatiron

The skyscraper was originally named the Fuller Building in honor of the Fuller Construction Company, the organization that not only built it but planned to use it as their new headquarters. While the Fuller Construction Company did occupy and use their new building, the name didn’t stick. Locals compared the building’s triangular shape to that of a flat iron, and while this nickname was slightly derogatory, the strangely shaped building captured the attention of artists and tourists almost immediately. The Fuller Construction Company came to recognize the value of the apt nickname and adopted it.

When the Fuller Building became the Flatiron Building, NYC gained a unique name for a unique building that would cement its place in the city’s romantic history. Although it opened to almost universal derision, the Flatiron Building has grown into one of New York City’s most treasured landmarks. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1989, ensuring that many more generations can enjoy the surprisingly angled skyscraper.

NYC Charm and History

At the Flatiron Building, NYC visitors can get a glimpse of the past. Due to its location at the intersection of Broadway and 5th Ave. and its position in front of the relatively open Madison Square, the Flatiron Building creates a natural wind tunnel. According to popular legend, men used to linger around the area to watch women’s skirts being lifted by the wind. Police periodically chased off the lurkers, and this regular shooing purportedly gave rise to the slang term “23 skidoo.” Although there’s no way to confirm this myth, the wind-tunnel effect is very real.

What Is the Flatiron Building Used For?

For many years, the Flatiron Building has been the headquarters of Macmillan Publishers, which oversees imprints including St. Martin’s Press, Tor Books, and Henry Holt & Co. However, after the company’s relocation in 2019, the building is likely to become a coworking space for freelancers and other types of remote workers.

Learn About This Famed Structure With Us

At the Flatiron Building, tour guides can offer lots of great stories and insights into the site’s history, but they may not be the popular facts you’d expect. As impressive as the Flatiron Building is, it gets credit for many achievements it didn’t actually earn. Although it is a skyscraper and it is an early steel-skeleton building, the Flatiron Building was not the first skyscraper or the first building with a steel skeleton. It was never the tallest building in the world, either.

To see the Flatiron Building, New York visitors have plenty of options, and one of the best is to take our Downtown Tour, which stops near the Flatiron Building. Tour the area on foot to see this landmark up close, then hop back on the next bus to continue your exploration of Manhattan. It’s easy to see all of the city’s sights with our flexible hop-on hop-off tours!


Get to Flatiron Building with our
NYC Sightseeing Pass 48 Hours (48 hours)
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This page was edited by Steven Thomas