NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

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Flatiron District

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Featuring a confluence diverse lifestyles and architecture in a central location, the convenient and majestic Flatiron District has established itself as one of New York’s most iconic neighborhoods. Containing two parks and bisected by Broadway, this neighborhood’s vibrant, bustling energy is perfectly complemented by its tremendous amounts of gorgeous green space and all imaginable conveniences. Right in the geographic heart of Manhattan, the Flatiron District is a stone’s throw from the some of the most exciting neighborhoods in the city, and has become a proper destination for fine dining and nightlife, boasting such institutions as Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Eataly, and Flatiron Lounge.


Landscape

Bounded by Madison Square Park to the north, Union Square Park to the south, Sixth Avenue to the west, and Lexington Avenue to the east, Flatiron contains some of the most city’s most popular and beautiful parks and some of its most classic, iconic buildings. The neighborhood’s most famous building is, appropriately, the one from which it derives its name: the Flatiron Building, located at 23rd Street where Broadway crosses 5th Avenue. The neighborhood is populated by a large number of mid-rise loft buildings dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, currently in use as photography studios, office spaces, and high-end residential condominiums.


History

Largely commercial until the mid-1980s, the Flatiron district went through several incarnations before it settled on its current identity. Formerly known as the Toy District, this neighborhood continues to be a hub for toy manufacturers and distributors, many of whom are based in the International Toy Center building complex at 23rd and 25th Streets at Madison Square. The American International Toy Fair has been held annually at the Toy Center since 1903. In the 1970s, the area became a hot location for photographers seeking large inexpensive loft spaces, and the name slowly shifted to the Photography District due to the high number of photography studios and associated businesses nearby. As the area continued to become increasingly residential, its name slowly shifted again in the 1980s to identify it with its most notable architectural structure.