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The Flatiron Building

Discover the Flatiron Building, a unique triangular skyscraper that has captivated New Yorkers and visitors alike for over a century. This architectural gem stands at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, offering a fascinating glimpse into the city's rich history and innovative spirit.

The Flatiron Building in a nutshell…

The Flatiron Building is an iconic triangular skyscraper in Manhattan, known for its unique architecture and historical significance.

Location: Intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street in Manhattan

Transportation: Easily accessible by subway (N, R, W to 23rd Street station) or bus (M1, M2, M3, M55)

Tickets: No tickets required for exterior viewing; building interior not open to the public. Guided tours of the area are available.

Visiting Hours: Exterior viewable 24/7; best viewed during daylight hours or when illuminated at night

The Flatiron Building, with its distinctive wedge shape, has been an iconic part of New York City’s skyline since its completion in 1902. This 22-story masterpiece, designed by Daniel Burnham, was one of the tallest buildings in the city at the time of its construction and remains a beloved landmark to this day.

Originally known as the Fuller Building, it quickly earned its more popular moniker due to its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron. The building’s unique design was a response to the irregular plot of land at the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street, resulting in its narrow “cowcatcher” front that’s merely 6.5 feet wide.

The Flatiron Building isn’t just an architectural marvel; it’s a symbol of New York’s innovative spirit and the rapid urbanization of the early 20th century. Its steel-frame structure and terra-cotta facade exemplify the Chicago School of architecture, making it a significant piece of American architectural history. As you explore this area, you’ll find yourself at the heart of the vibrant Flatiron District, surrounded by history, culture, and endless opportunities for urban adventure.

Practical information

The Flatiron Building is more than just a pretty facade; it’s a testament to New York’s architectural ingenuity and a gateway to one of Manhattan’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a unique photo opportunity, the Flatiron Building offers something for everyone.

As you plan your visit, keep in mind that while the building itself is not open to the public, the surrounding area is packed with attractions, shops, and restaurants that make it well worth the trip.


The Flatiron Building stands proudly at the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street in Manhattan. This prime location places it at the heart of the Flatiron District, named after the building itself.

How to get there

New York City’s extensive public transportation system makes reaching the Flatiron Building a breeze. Whether you prefer the subway, bus, or even a more tourist-oriented option, you’ll find convenient ways to get there from anywhere in the city.

Remember, part of the New York experience is navigating its bustling streets and public transit. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for directions – New Yorkers are often more helpful than their reputation suggests!


The subway is your fastest and most convenient option for reaching the Flatiron Building. Take the N, R, or W train to the 23rd Street station, which puts you just steps away from the building. Alternatively, the 6 train to 23rd Street station is also a good choice, leaving you with a short walk east to the Flatiron.


If you prefer to see the city as you travel, buses are an excellent option. The M1, M2, M3, and M55 buses all stop near the Flatiron Building. Look for stops along Fifth Avenue or Broadway close to 23rd Street. Remember to have your MetroCard ready or use the OMNY contactless payment system.

Hop-on Hop-off Buses

Hop-on hop-off buses are a fantastic way to move between New York’s major attractions, including the Flatiron Building. These tours offer the convenience of transportation combined with informative commentary about the city. Most hop-on hop-off routes include a stop near the Flatiron, allowing you to explore the area at your own pace before continuing your tour of the city.

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While driving in New York City can be an adventure, it’s generally better to avoid it when visiting the Flatiron Building. Traffic in this area can be heavy, and parking is both scarce and expensive. The excellent public transportation options make it much easier and often quicker to reach the Flatiron without the stress of navigating Manhattan’s busy streets.


The Flatiron Building itself doesn’t require tickets for viewing, as it’s best appreciated from the outside and it’s not open to the public. However, the area around the building offers numerous attractions and experiences that might require tickets.

Consider purchasing a discount pass like the New York CityPASS or Explorer Pass if you plan to visit multiple attractions in the city. These passes often include nearby sites like the Empire State Building or guided tours of the Flatiron District, potentially saving you money on your New York adventure.

Visiting Hours

Since the Flatiron Building is an exterior landmark, you can admire it at any time of day or night. The surrounding Madison Square Park is open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, offering a pleasant space to relax and enjoy views of the building.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Flatiron Building largely depends on your preferences and what you hope to experience. Early mornings offer a quieter atmosphere and great lighting for photography, especially as the sun rises behind the building’s eastern face.

Midday brings the hustle and bustle of New York life, perfect for people-watching and soaking in the city’s energy. For a magical experience, visit in the evening when the building is illuminated, casting a warm glow over the intersection and creating a romantic atmosphere perfect for night photography.

Tours and Experiences

While the Flatiron Building itself isn’t open for tours, the surrounding area offers a wealth of experiences that can enhance your visit and deepen your understanding of this iconic landmark and its neighborhood.

From food tours to historical walks, there’s something for every interest. These guided experiences not only provide insider knowledge but also help you discover hidden gems you might otherwise miss.

Flatiron District Time Travel Quest Experience in New York

Embark on a unique adventure through the Flatiron District with this interactive exploration game. You’ll play the role of a time traveler from the future, tasked with identifying historical sites for preservation. This engaging experience combines the fun of a treasure hunt with fascinating historical insights.

As you solve challenges on your phone, you’ll uncover the stories behind landmarks like Union Square Fountain, Pete’s Tavern, and Gramercy Park. You’ll even learn about a little-known gravesite in the middle of Broadway. This self-guided tour offers flexibility and a novel way to explore the area at your own pace.

Private Flatiron Food, History and Architecture Tour

Indulge your taste buds and feed your mind on this private walking tour of the Flatiron and Union Square neighborhoods. You’ll sample iconic New York dishes, including a famous Reuben sandwich and artisanal grilled cheese, while learning about the area’s rich history and stunning architecture.

Highlights include visits to the Union Square GreenMarket, Madison Square Park, and of course, up-close views of the Flatiron Building. This personalized experience ensures you get the most out of your visit, with insights tailored to your interests.

Off the beaten track: Flatiron/Gramercy History Tour

Discover the hidden gems of the Flatiron and Gramercy areas on this historical walking tour. Starting at one of New York’s oldest bars, you’ll journey through time, visiting a Prohibition-era speakeasy and admiring architectural marvels like The National Arts Club and Gramercy Park.

The tour concludes at The Flatiron Room, where you can relax with a whiskey cocktail (not included) and enjoy some live jazz. This small-group experience offers a perfect blend of history, architecture, and local culture.

Explore the Ruins of a Forgotten City in the Middle of Manhattan

Step back in time to New York’s Gilded Age on this fascinating walking tour. As you stroll through the streets around the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park, your guide will reveal the hidden history and architectural details that most passersby miss.

You’ll gain new perspectives on familiar landmarks and uncover the stories of the neighborhood’s famous residents. This small-group tour provides an intimate atmosphere, perfect for history enthusiasts and those looking to deepen their understanding of New York’s past.

View more tours in the area

What to Expect at Flatiron Building

When visiting the Flatiron Building, prepare to be awestruck by its unique triangular shape and impressive Beaux-Arts architecture. As you approach, you’ll notice how the building seems to defy gravity, its narrow prow jutting out like the bow of a ship.

The limestone and glazed terra-cotta facade features intricate details that reward close inspection. Look for the decorative motifs, including flowers, Greek faces, and geometric patterns. At street level, large plate-glass windows offer glimpses into the building’s interior, though remember that the building itself is not open to the public.

The area surrounding the Flatiron is always bustling with activity. Street performers often set up nearby, adding to the lively atmosphere. The adjacent Madison Square Park provides a green oasis where you can relax and admire the building from different angles.

Don’t forget to look up at the roofline, where you’ll see ornate cornices and a penthouse addition that was included in the original design. The play of light and shadow on the building’s facade changes throughout the day, offering different photographic opportunities.

While you can’t enter the Flatiron Building, the vibrant neighborhood around it offers plenty to explore. From high-end shops to diverse dining options, you’ll find no shortage of ways to extend your visit to this iconic New York landmark.

Tips to Visit Flatiron Building

  • Plan your visit around golden hour for the best photography opportunities. The low-angled sunlight during early morning or late afternoon beautifully illuminates the building’s facade, creating stunning visuals.
  • Bring a wide-angle lens if you’re a photography enthusiast. The building’s unique shape can be challenging to capture in its entirety without one, especially from close up.
  • Take time to explore Madison Square Park, located just across from the Flatiron Building. It offers excellent views of the building and hosts frequent art installations and events.
  • Consider joining a guided tour of the Flatiron District to gain deeper insights into the building’s history and architectural significance. Many tours combine visits to other nearby landmarks for a comprehensive experience.
  • If you’re interested in architecture, take time to admire other notable buildings in the area, such as the MetLife Tower and the New York Life Building, which complement the Flatiron’s historical significance.
  • Visit during different times of day to experience the changing atmosphere around the building. The morning rush, lunchtime buzz, and evening calm each offer a unique perspective on New York City life.
  • Combine your visit with a stop at Eataly, a sprawling Italian marketplace located just across the street, for a delicious taste of Italy in the heart of New York.
  • Keep an eye out for the bronze statue of General William Jenkins Worth in the traffic island north of Madison Square Park. This often-overlooked monument predates the Flatiron Building and offers another slice of New York history.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Flatiron Building was constructed between 1901 and 1902, opening to the public in 1902. It was one of New York City’s first skyscrapers and represented a significant architectural achievement for its time.

The Flatiron Building was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, a prominent figure in the Chicago School of architecture. Burnham’s design ingeniously utilized the triangular plot of land at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

The Flatiron Building stands at 285 feet (87 meters) tall and has 22 stories. While not among the tallest buildings in New York today, it was one of the city’s tallest structures when it was built in 1902.

Unfortunately, the interior of the Flatiron Building is not open to the public. It has primarily been used as office space throughout its history. Visitors can best appreciate the building from the outside and the surrounding areas.

The building got its nickname due to its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron when viewed from above. Its official name was originally the Fuller Building, after the company that commissioned its construction.

The Flatiron Building is designed in the Beaux-Arts style, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It features a steel frame clad in limestone and glazed terra-cotta, with ornate decorative elements typical of the style.

Yes, the Flatiron Building has been continuously in use since its construction, primarily as office space. However, it has undergone renovations and changes in ownership over the years.

The building’s unique triangular shape was dictated by its lot at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. This unusual form, with its narrow “cowcatcher” front, made it one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks.

While there are no interior tours of the building, numerous walking tours of the Flatiron District include detailed information about the building’s history and architecture. These tours often cover other nearby landmarks as well.

The best times for photography are typically early morning or late afternoon when the sunlight casts interesting shadows on the building’s facade. However, the building is photogenic at any time of day or night when illuminated.

There is no fee to view the Flatiron Building from the outside. It’s freely visible from the surrounding streets and Madison Square Park.

The building is surrounded by numerous attractions, including Madison Square Park, the MetLife Tower, Eataly, and many shops and restaurants. The vibrant Flatiron District offers plenty to explore.

The Flatiron Building was groundbreaking for its time, demonstrating the possibilities of steel-frame construction and helping to usher in the age of the skyscraper in New York City.

While the exterior areas around the Flatiron Building are accessible, including the sidewalks and nearby Madison Square Park, the building’s interior is not open to the public.

The Flatiron Building continues to be an important landmark and office building. While it has undergone renovations over the years, its iconic exterior remains protected due to its landmark status, ensuring it will continue to be a beloved part of New York’s skyline for years to come.

Where to Stay Near Flatiron Building

Staying near the Flatiron Building can be an excellent choice for your New York City visit. This central location puts you at the heart of Manhattan, with easy access to numerous attractions, restaurants, and transportation options.

The Flatiron District and nearby areas like Chelsea and Gramercy offer a range of accommodations to suit various budgets and preferences. From boutique hotels that capture the neighborhood’s character to larger chain hotels with all the amenities, you’ll find plenty of options within walking distance of the Flatiron Building.

Other Nearby Attractions

The Flatiron Building’s prime location puts you within easy reach of many of New York City’s most famous attractions. This makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the city, allowing you to maximize your time and see more during your visit.

Whether you’re interested in art, history, shopping, or just soaking in the New York atmosphere, you’ll find plenty to do within a short walk or quick subway ride from the Flatiron Building. Let’s take a look at some of the exciting attractions nearby.

Empire State Building

Just a few blocks north, the Empire State Building awaits as an iconic Art Deco skyscraper and a staple of the New York City skyline. It features observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors that offer panoramic views of the city, allowing visitors to take in the breathtaking vistas of Manhattan and beyond. The building’s rich history and architectural grandeur make it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the essence of New York.

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Madison Square Garden

A short walk west from the Flatiron, Madison Square Garden is renowned as one of the world’s most famous arenas. It hosts a plethora of major events including concerts, sporting events like NBA and NHL games, and other significant performances. Known as “The Garden,” this venue is a key cultural and entertainment hub in Manhattan, offering visitors a chance to witness top-tier entertainment in an iconic setting.

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Times Square

Times Square stands as the pulsating heart of Manhattan’s Theater District. Known globally for its explosion of bright lights and digital billboards, Times Square is a hub of entertainment, adorned with Broadway theaters and major retail stores. It’s a cultural phenomenon where visitors can immerse themselves in the bustling ambiance, attend a hit Broadway show, or simply enjoy the vibrant street scene that reflects the dynamic spirit of New York City.

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Union Square

Union Square is a vibrant public plaza known for its energetic atmosphere, surrounded by a variety of shops and restaurants. It is famous for its bustling greenmarket, where local farmers and artisans sell their goods several days a week. Union Square is also a cultural and social hotspot, often filled with street performers and public demonstrations. It’s a place where locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy the lively urban environment.

Washington Square Park

Situated at the heart of the New York University campus, Washington Square Park is framed by the iconic Washington Square Arch. This historic park is a focal point for community interaction, known for its vibrant atmosphere and as a gathering place for artists, students, and musicians. The park’s large open space, central fountain, and pathways make it a pleasant spot for relaxation and leisure, offering a slice of tranquility amidst the urban bustle of the city.

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On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Practical information
  3. Tours and Experiences
  4. What to Expect at Flatiron Building
  5. Tips to Visit Flatiron Building
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Where to Stay Near Flatiron Building
  8. Other Nearby Attractions