HistoryIn the first half of the 20th century, the modern-day Flatiron District was unofficially known as the Toy District. After World War II, the toy industry rapidly dwindled in this neighborhood and other major cities in the United States of America. The construction of the Flatiron Building and Metlife Tower in the early 1900s emphasized the importance of the district in the rapidly growing NYC. For the past few decades, inexpensive rental prices have attracted photographers and artists into this premier neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan. In fact, the Flatiron District is one of the most photographed spots in all of NYC, mostly because of the irregularly shaped Flatiron Building.
Attractions and LandmarksThe Flatiron Building is perhaps the most prominent landmark in the Flatiron District. Architects Daniel Burnham and Frederick Dinkelberg designed this oddly shaped edifice in 1902. Upon opening, this Renaissance Revival building was one of the tallest in New York City’s. In fact, the Flatiron Building played a crucial role in the early chapters of skyscrapers in North America. For generations, this 22-story tower has been a recognizable fixture in Manhattan’s dynamic concrete jungle. Hosting street vendors and kiosks, the Flatiron Plaza is a popular spot for snapping some photos with the Flatiron Building in the background. Another major architectural landmark that's located in the Flatiron District is the Metlife Tower. Completed in 1909 in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, this skyscraper has a distinct clock tower with a pyramid-shaped design. Opened in 2010, One Madison is a 50-story skyscraper that has added some modern vibe to this historic district. During the day, the Flatiron Building casts a shadow on Madison Square Park. Covering just more than 6 acres, this urban park has dominated the scene of the area long before any skyscrapers were built in NYC. Madison Square Park has oval trails and walkways that mimic elegant parks in some European cities. History buffs could embrace the park's statues that are dedicated to admiral David Glasgow Farragut and Chester Alan Arthur. Some other notable installations in Madison Square Park include the Eternal Light Flagstaff and a circular fountain. Opened in 2002, the Museum of Sex highlights the cool character of the Flatiron Building. This museum presents various aspects of human sexuality in modern galleries and other multimedia suites. Due to the explicit nature of the content, the Museum of Sex has certain age restrictions for entry. Click to book your Flatiron Food, Architecture & History walking tour.
Layout and TransportationEast 26th Street runs along the northern perimeter of the Flatiron District. The western flank of the district is precisely marked by 6th Avenue, and the southern edge is identified by East 20th Street. Park Avenue South is the only road in the neighborhood that has two-way traffic flow in a north-south direction. Connecting New Jersey with Manhattan, PATH service is available at the 23rd Street station in the Flatiron District. The East 23rd Street station gets service from several New York City Subway lines. The N, Q, R and W trains navigate most of Manhattan and some of the outer boroughs. Subway service is also available at the 23 Street station under Park Avenue. More than 10 Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus stops are located within the Flatiron District. Some of NYC's busiest roads pass through the neighborhood, so there are naturally several parking garages and plenty of metered parking spaces available. You can also use the Citi Bike program to temporarily rent a bicycle at various points in the district.
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