The bustling neighborhood, as diverse as New York itself, includes some of the city’s most popular restaurants in a variety of price ranges and cuisines; a dynamic retail environment with a profusion of fashion, beauty and home furnishings stores; superb educational institutions and such architectural highlights as the fabled Flatiron Building, the Metropolitan Life and New York Life buildings and the exquisite New York State Appellate Courthouse. A burgeoning residential community is adding its own new vitality to this historic neighborhood. The district is easily accessed by a range of public transportation options and is just a short stroll from either Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station.
So look around explore, enjoy, and Discover Flatiron!
Discover Flatiron: Chester Alan Arthur Becomes 21st President of the United States
In honor of President's Day on February 20th, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership takes a look back at the life of area resident, and 21st President of the United States, Chester Alan Arthur. President Arthur lived in a rowhouse at 123 Lexington Avenue, near 28th Street. It was here that Arthur was administered the oath of office on the morning of September 20, 1881, following the assassination of President James A. Garfield. It was the first time anyone had taken the oath of office in New York City since George Washington in 1789.
In 1880, Arthur had been elected as candidate Garfield's Vice Presidential running mate. Described as a man who looked presidential and also held elegant dinner parties, Arthur was in contrast to Garfield. The Vice President was viewed as dignified, a tall and handsome individual with a clean-shaven chin and side-whiskers, wrote The Presidents of the United States of America authors Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. "He became a man of fashion in his garb and associates, and often was seen with the elite of Washington, New York, and Newport."
Such stylist surroundings were a far cry from Arthur's humble log cabin beginnings in Fairfield, Vermont. Born to Malvina, a homemaker, and William Arthur, a Baptist preacher and Irish émigré, on October 5, 1829, the future President recalled his youth idyllic, with time spent with his siblings, in Ruth Tenzer Feldman's biography Chester A. Arthur, "What a life we did lead...sitting up like owls til two or three in the morning...quite satisfied with our little world."
Arthur graduated from Union College in 1848 in Schenectady and practiced law and later was a principal at a Vermont academy. He then served as New York State's Quartermaster General and Collector of the Port of New York, where he supervised thousands of Custom House employees.
In his personal life, Arthur and Ellen Lewis Herndon married in 1859. They had three children, a daughter, Nell, and two sons, William and Chester II. Following the untimely death of Ellen Lewis at the age of 42 in 1880, Arthur spent many of his days in mourning, and rarely left the house at 123 Lexington.
That changed once Arthur entered the Presidential office the following year. His legislative work included the enactment of the first general Federal immigration law, according to Frank Friedel and Hugh Sidey in The Presidents of the United States of America. The authors noted that Arthur was also a champion of civil service reform and created a classified system that made certain governmental employment obtainable only through competitive exams.
In the end, Arthur's presidency would prove to be one term. Arthur left politics in 1885 and returned to private law practice and his beloved Flatiron area home. Kidney disease claimed Arthur's life in 1886 and he was laid to rest near his wife in Menands, New York, approximately 20 miles from his alma mater.
Arthur is honored with a 15-foot bronze and Barre granite statue in Madison Square Park. According to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation website, the $25,000 statue was commissioned by friends of Arthur and today stands at the northeast entrance of the park at East 26th Street.
The sculpture depicts Arthur standing in a frock coat before an armchair, draped with a rug, and embossed on the back with the presidential seal. "No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted," wrote then noted newspaper editor and publisher Alexander L. McClure, "and no one ever retired...more generally respected."
Todd Snyder, Menswear Designer
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is pleased to introduce Todd Snyder, an award-winning menswear designer and owner of the luxury brand store that bears his name at 25 East 26th Street. Described as a "blending of Savile Row craftsmanship with a downtown New York aesthetic", Snyder's style is based on the Huxley, Iowa native's tailor-made passion for fashion. "I followed my dream of being a fashion designer," says Snyder, who earned a BA in Apparel Design at Iowa State University. "I taught myself to sew and it's served me well."
1. Briefly describe your dual role as a menswear designer and proprietor of your Flatiron District commercial property.
My first paying job was at J.Crew in 1993, located in the Flatiron District, and I fell in love with the area. When I set out on my own in 2010, my only choice was Flatiron, it’s the perfect location to go uptown and downtown. Once I started thinking of opening a store, my only choice again was the Flatiron District. I have always loved the energy and the people. It has the best shopping for interiors and we have the best restaurants in my neighborhood (ABC Kitchen, Gramercy Tavern, and Maialino). It just feels like home.
2. You've been honored as a CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Menswear Designer of the Year nominee. How would you best describe your signature label and what makes the style a distinctive global brand?
I have been very blessed to be recognized by the CFDA. My brand has evolved into a classic luxury American brand with a modern sensibility. I like mixing traditional tailoring with vintage military pieces while continuing to insert active modern fabrics.
3. Can you share with us any fashion predictions for 2017 and why you think they will be trending among consumers?
Active is still strong. You will see lots of track suits and active inspired knits mixed with traditional sportswear.
4. Why did you pursue fashion as a profession?
I started studying architecture in college and switched to fashion in my senior year. I followed my dream of being a fashion designer. I always loved clothing and had an eye for tailoring. I taught myself to sew and it’s served me well.
5. An industry colleague once described you as "a very calm big brother." Would you consider that true? How would you best describe yourself?
I am very calm. I have worked for some pretty amazing people and they have been very good mentors. I guess I get it from them.
6. As a business owner and Flatiron District resident, what do you love most about living and working in the area?
It’s a great place for young talent. A lot of my team lives in Brooklyn or they come in on trains through Grand Central. It’s very convenient for all of them, but it also offers a lot of options for after-work drinks and restaurants. My favorite part is that we have three art supply shops within three blocks.
7. When you grab a bite to eat in the neighborhood, where do you like to go? What's your favorite dish there?
ABC Kitchen. My favorite is the pizza for lunch. My other favorite is Eisenberg’s deli on Fifth Avenue. They have the best breakfast. It’s old school.
8. Aside from visiting your store, what do you consider a "must-see” or “must-do" destination in the community?
Madison Square Eats. It’s the best taste in town. Dozens of local restaurants showcase their best eats. It’s a great way to try everything.
9. What's your favorite building or architectural element in the area and why?
Oh, of course, the Flatiron Building. Still looks incredibly unique and modern despite being built in the early 1900s.
10. Choose three words to describe the Flatiron District.
History. Present. Future.
“Village meets midtown.”
When asked to describe the Flatiron District in three words
photographer, Humans of New York
“It's a three-way tie. The architecture. The vibe. The food.”
When asked about his favorite thing about the Flatiron District
Founder & CEO Hill Country Hospitality + local resident
“You are building a community like no other!”
Excerpt from remarks at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership
Gale A. Brewer
Manhattan Borough President
Square feet of commercial real estate
Total 2015 MTA riders for 23rd Street (1,6,N,R,F,M) and 28th St (1,6,N,R) stations
Taxi drop offs per weekday in 2015
Dollars invested in the Public Plazas by the BID