Constructed on a narrow, triangular plot, the Flatiron Building is both an ingenious engineering solution and a world-renowned symbol of New York City. It was one of the city’s earliest skyscrapers and originally known as the Fuller Building, with a the 22-story design intended to replicate the 3-part structure of a classical Greek column. Largely used for office spaces and off-limits to the public for most of its existence, the building is nevertheless beloved of New Yorkers and visitors alike.
The Flatiron Building is a staple of many Big Apple itineraries, including hop-on hop-off bus tours, neighborhood walking tours, private sightseeing trips, architecture-themed excursions, and more.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Leading artists and photographers the likes of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Albert Gleizes have all created works that feature the Flatiron Building.
While it’s possible to enter the building’s lobby, the rest of the structure is off-limits to visitors.
The Flatiron Prow Art Space, located at the front of the building at ground level, hosts a changing series of art exhibitions.
How to Get There
Conveniently located in downtown Manhattan, the Flatiron Building can be accessed via numerous forms of transit. Take the N, Q, R, or W train to 23rd Street; the 4 or 6 train to 28th Street; or a PATH train to 23rd Street. The busy Union Square hub is also within walking distance. Alternatively, the area is served by numerous bus routes and can be reached on foot, by car, and by bike.
When to Get There
The Flatiron Building is worth visiting throughout the year, but note that it’s best to discover it by day; the building’s illumination is limited at night, so you’re more likely to capture winning photos during daytime hours. If you can, time your visit for lunchtime; in season, the pop-up Madison Square Eats food market, a popular midday destination, is located just steps away.
Exploring the Flatiron District
The Flatiron Building may be the highlight of its eponymous district, but it isn’t the only thing to see in the area. Wander into Madison Square Park for a leafy pause; go on a food crawl of Eataly; seek out high-end restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and the Gramercy Tavern; and drop in the National Museum of Mathematics (or, for adults only, the Museum of Sex).
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