Named after the iconic Flatiron Building, one of New York’s oldest skyscrapers, the Flatiron District is bounded by 20th Street and Union Square, Avenue of the Americas, 25th Street and Lexington Avenue / Irving Place.
Once known as the Toy District and the Photo District, the Flatiron District was officially designated in 1985, a reflection of the area’s increasing importance as a residential neighborhood. In addition to its namesake building, Flatiron is home to several other important landmarks, including the Met Life Tower, once the tallest building in the world.
Following the complete renovation of Madison Square Park in 2001, a large influx of new high-end businesses came to Flatiron’s northern section, most notably, Eataly, a mega-Italian specialty market and food pavilion located on the ground floor of the former Toy Building. Centrally located, the Flatiron District has become a prime location for world-class restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park, one of the finest in New York City.
Several significant trophy properties are located in the Flatiron area. One Madison, a slender 60-story tower at 23rd Street between Broadway and Park Avenue South, is home to celebrities such as Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, as well as News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, who purchased the building’s triplex penthouse and an additional full-floor apartment for $57.3 million.
At the southern end of the neighborhood, Union Square is a historic park that has served as a staging ground for political protests. In 1882, workers marched past the park as part of the very first Labor Day celebration.
Today, Union Square is the site of the city’s largest green markets, the Union Square Green market. Held four times a week, the Union Square Green market features 1,000 varieties of local produce and attracts some 250,000 weekly shoppers, many of them top-rated chefs. The square itself is also adjacent to some of the city’s busiest and most acclaimed restaurants, including Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe, a perennial favorite.
The Union Square area also boasts its share of important residential buildings, including the Zeckendorf Towers, a four-building, full-block development constructed in the 1980s and widely credited for transforming Union Square and the Flatiron District into a thriving residential community.
With the Union Square subway station to the south and additional subway stations at 23rd Street, the Flatiron District is easily accessible via the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R and W trains.