June 26, 2015

1694, 1695 UNITED STATES (New York) - Flatiron Building in New York City

1694 New York - Flatiron Building (1)

The Flatiron Building, originally the Fuller Building, located at 175 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, is considered to be one of the first skyscraper ever built. Upon completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in New York City at 21 floors high. The building sits on a triangular island-block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street, with 23rd Street grazing the triangle's northern (uptown) peak. As with numerous other wedge-shaped buildings, the name "Flatiron" derives from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron. The neighborhood around it is called the Flatiron District after its signature building, which has become an icon of New York City.

1695 New York - Flatiron Building (2)

The site where is the skyscraper was bought in 1901 by Cumberland Realty Company, an investment partnership created by Harry S. Black, CEO of the Fuller Company. The Fuller Company was the first true general contractor that dealt with all aspects of building construction except design, and they specialized in skyscrapers. At the time, efforts were being made to create a new business district in New York, north of the current hub of Wall Street. So Black engaged the Chicago architect Daniel Burnham to design a new headquarters building on the site. It was to be named the Fuller Building after George A. Fuller, founder of the Fuller Company and "father of the skyscraper", but locals persisted on calling it The Flatiron.

The building was designed as a vertical Renaissance palazzo with Beaux-Arts styling. Unlike New York's early skyscrapers, which took the form of towers, blockier mass, the Flatiron Building epitomizes the Chicago school conception: like a classical Greek column, its facade - limestone at the bottom changing to glazed terra-cotta as the floors rise - is divided into a base, shaft and capital. Building the Flatiron was made feasible by a change to building codes in 1892, which eliminated the requirement that masonry be used. This opened the way for steel-skeleton construction, a technique familiar to the Fuller Company. At the vertex, the triangular tower is only 2m wide; viewed from above, this pointed end of the structure describes an acute angle of about 25 degrees.

About the stamps
On the postcard  1694
The first stamp, depicting the lighthouse in Point Judith (Narragansett, RI), is part of the Forever series New England Coastal Lighthouses, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of Wedding series, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1695
The stamp is a Global Forever First-Class Mail International one ($1.10), about which I wrote here

Flatiron Building - Wikipedia
Flatiron Building - History website

Sender 1694: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 26.12.2013 
Sender 1695: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from New York City (New York / United States), on 16.01.2014 

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