"The Flatiron Building"

Flatiron Building inner cigar box label

Location:  Fifth Avenue between E. 22nd Street and E. 23rd Street, New York, NY
Architect:  Daniel H. Burnham
Date Completed:  1902
Height:  285 feet (87 meters)
Considered the oldest remaining skyscraper in New York City.

In my research I have found the spelling to be both Flat Iron & Flatiron.  Since the entrance of the building uses the Flatiron spelling...so will I.

Sometimes incorrectly thought to have been the first steel skeleton building (dozens of steel framed buildings were built in New York in the 1890's), the Flatiron is an energetic mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles.  Its twenty-two stories are divided into three parts, beginning, middle and end, like a classical Greek column.

Flatiron Building outer cigar box label

The building's triangular plan was a clever response to the awkward site produced by the intersection of Broadway and 5th Avenue.  This steel-framed terra-cotta and stone-clad skyscraper represents the developers' first (and ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to create a new business center north of Wall Street.

The building has two claims to fame -- one architectural, the other cultural.   Some consider the Flatiron Building to be New York City's first skyscraper.  It certainly was ONE of the first buildings in the city to employ a steel frame to hold up its 285-foot tall facade, but not the first.  Some felt its shape (like a flatiron) was less artistic and more dangerous.  They thought it would fall over, and during construction the Flatiron Building was nicknamed "Burnham's Folly."  In the over 100 years since its construction the Flatiron's only problem has been that city grime has settled into the crevices of the terra cotta flowers and Grecian faces decorating the building.   Even this has only served to accentuate its details.

The building's cultural legacy is a little more interesting and has passed into the local social consciousness as a fable.  It is said that the building created unusual eddies in the wind which would cause women's skirts to fly around as they walked on 23rd street.  This attracted throngs of young men who gathered to view the barelegged spectacle.  The term "23 Skidoo" was coined by NYC policemen who would disperse these crowds.  When given their assignments for the day, "23 Skidoo" signified crowd control at the Flatiron.  This phrase has passed out of common usage, but its descendant, the word "scram" remains in a back corner of the American lexicon.

Flatiron Building compare cigar box label

The Label:  Unfortunately there are no copyright or litho company markings on the labels. The current Price Guide lists the Inner at $800 and the Outer at $450.  If anyone has any info on the labels, please let me know.

Top of page

home cigar label art Go to Archives


All materials on this website are the
© Copyright 2005 of Chip Brooks/Cigar Label Junkie
All rights reserved.