New York’s “Flat Iron and Fifth Avenue Buildings”

I like Flat Iron as two words; it doesn’t obscure the origin of the building’s name.

Aside from the streetcars navigating Broadway, the best part of the postcard is the caption on the back: “Facing Madison Square, these two buildings are among the most interesting in the uptown district.”

Uptown for 1905, I guess.

In the center is the still-standing, seven-story Western Union Building, by late 19th century starchitect Henry Hardenburgh.

And look—no Shake Shack!

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7 Responses to “New York’s “Flat Iron and Fifth Avenue Buildings””

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    In the corner building from the Flatiron and the park is a small five or six storied building. There used to be a basement billiard hall in that building which contained 20 or 30 pool tables. We used to drop by in the afternoons for a game of pool or sit around and act as pool hustlers. The pool hall and buildings finally burned to the ground. Four or five firemen were lost in the blaze. A procession was held for them on 5th Avenue. A plaque was set up for them on the site. It can be seen on the building at 23rd Street off Broadway. An overly high rise building stands there now.

  2. T.J. Connick Says:

    Uptown: Custom and use lead, place names lag. While Penn Station and the Queensboro Bridge were years in the future, a glance at the 1902 edition of Appleton’s Dictionary of New York yields some numbers that suggest that Madison Square had already moved “downtown”.

    Using 23rd Street as the postcard’s line marking “uptown”:
    Hotels: 57 uptown, 28 downtown
    Episcopal Churches: 52 uptown, 27 downtown
    Synagogues: 33 uptown, 33 downtown

    It takes a while to build a hotel, and quite a bit longer to organize a congregation and build a house of worship. To have attained the majority in 1902, “uptown” must have been the place to be for some time. It wouldn’t surprise if the tiny survey proved true when extended to other measures.

  3. Marc Kehoe Says:

    Hardenburgh, EIGHTEENTH Century?

    Really dig this blog, Keep it going, please.

  4. The beautiful street clocks along Fifth Avenue « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the Madison Square neighborhood was very posh, and the Fifth Avenue Building it stood outside was so well-known, it shared a postcard with the Flatiron Building across the way. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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