Historic Flatiron District, home to one of New York City’s most iconic buildings, is a buzzing hub where residents can get a little bit of everything. The area is the epicenter of shopping on Broadway, 5th and Madison Avenues, dining, art, nightlife, and high-end residential living. With Union Square just to the South this area also boasts some of Manhattan’s most enviable access to transportation. Flatiron is bounded by 14th Street to 27th Street, between Lexington Avenue (or, in the southern reaches, Park Avenue) and Sixth Avenue. This area balances classic New York historic charm and modernity.
Its namesake, the triangular-shaped Flatiron building defines the neighborhood. This famous 22-story building was constructed in 1902 and is distinguished as the world’s first steel-frame skyscraper and held the title as Manhattan’s tallest skyscraper upon its completion. Another historic landmark in the area is Madison Square Park on Madison Avenue and Broadway, between 23rd and 26th St. The Park, which receives thousands of visitors daily, formally opened in 1847, right before the neighborhood began to rapidly develop. The park is now a Conservancy that is open to the public, with flower-filled gardens, art installations and special outdoor concerts.
Museum lovers can also enjoy a wide range of museums within walking distance. From the Rubin Museum of Art, The National Museum of Mathematics, to the Fashion Museum at FIT and the Museum of Sex, which aims to demystify the taboo through engaging and educational exhibitions, there’s something for everyone. Art galleries like Porter Contemporary, for example, attract a broad audience. Founded by Jessica L. Porter, it showcases international artists appealing to established and new collectors alike. You can also celebrate Tibetan culture at Tibet House U.S., an institution dedicated to preserving the nation’s history, art, and Buddhist philosophy.
The neighborhood is synonymous with some of the top dining experiences in NYC, especially local and organic New American cuisine. The Clocktower, in the old
Gramercy Tavern sources local ingredients for its seasonal menu. Craft, a New American restaurant by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio’s and Eleven Madison Park, a three-star Michelin restaurant that ranked number one on a 2017 list of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Eataly gives patrons access to authentic Italian ingredients such as fresh meats, imported olive oil, and an extensive variety of pastas.
There are a lot of entertainment options in Flatiron from arts and music to theatre and clubs. Gramercy Theatre, located on 23rd St. has a mix of standing room and Sit-down Theater; sketch comedy and up-and-coming stand-up acts take the stage nightly at the Peoples Improv Theater (aka The PIT). Flatiron also draws a nighttime crowd with some of its elegant bars and nightclubs including The Flatiron Lounge and Jay-Z’s 40-40 Club. Raines Law Room is an authentic speakeasy atmosphere that will transform your night into a glamorous 1920s New York.
Shoppers also take advantage of boutiques like Kate Spade and stores like ABC Carpet & Home and Bed Bath & Beyond, in former department stores that catered to the “carriage trade” of the Ladies’ Mile in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The neighborhood is a mix of cast-iron and beaux-arts architecture that gives the streets of the Flatiron its historic charm. There are luxury condos nestle inside skyscrapers such as 240 Park Avenue South and One Madison Park that offer residents with white-glove service. You’ll find lofts with high ceilings, prewar apartments on the district’s side streets, and converted prewar condominiums like 254 Park Avenue South, a trend that repeats throughout the neighborhood.
With the neighborhood’s central location, there’s an abundance of transportation options in the area. The R, W or 6 trains to 23rd street and the NQRW456 trains are just a few blocks away at Union Square.