Named for the world-famous, turn-of-the-century Flatiron Building which stands at the southern end of Madison Square Park between the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway and dates from 1902, the modern Flatiron District has turned into the real estate gravamen for New York City’s technology industry.
The Flatiron District – which generally extends outward from the northern end of the historic Ladies’ Mile along Fifth Avenue in the low 20s and is bounded by Chelsea to the west, Union Square to the south, and Gramercy Park to the east – was Manhattan’s premier retail shopping district during the early twentieth century, and how the area got its original name. But no matter what you call it, the Flatiron District boasts some of Manhattan’s most striking, Beaux-Arts-style architecture, and remains one of the city’s most desirable office and retail locations. From easy access to multiple subway lines and the adjacent Madison Square Park, the Flatiron District’s enduring popularity has been embraced firmly by Gotham’s technology industry, whose Web 2.0 and other startup companies have flocked to the neighborhood in droves.
With so much of the Flatiron District’s cast-iron, 20-story buildings landmarked, most office buildings in the submarket are pre-war and feature dramatic original details and high, loft-style ceilings. The Flatiron Building itself – once known as the Fuller Building – is a National Historic Landmark, designed by Daniel Burnham as a classic Renaissance-style palazzo with Beaux-Arts components. With its triangular footprint facing north, the Flatiron Building mimics the prow of a ship, confidently facing forward at the dawn of the American century.
The Flatiron District is generally what the industry refers to when discussing Manhattan’s booming “Silicon Alley,” though the term in recent years has come to refer to New York City’s tech industry in general thanks to its explosive growth. But the Broadway corridor south from Madison Square Park into SoHo and Tribeca are now part of that definition, even if many advertising agencies, publishers, computer-, and web-focused start-up companies continue to call the Flatiron District home.
Best Manhattan Office Buildings in the Flatiron District
- 200 Park Avenue South
- The Everett Building exemplifies an important step in the evolution of commercial office building: it features functional, fireproof with open floor space and simple classical details influenced by Chicago design that was popular during the early 1900s.
- 200 Park Avenue South, New York, New York
- 51 Madison Avenue
- While students of the skyline know Cass Gilbert's 51 Madison Avenue, few know its secret: despite being built in 1928, 51 Madison is one of New York City's best-performing high rises.