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! 

 

Flatiron History

Discover Flatiron: Madison Cottage

It’s July and time for a summer getaway! In recognition of this time-honored New York tradition, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership takes a journey back to the 1839 opening of the popular inn, Madison Cottage, at the corner of 23rd Street and Broadway.

Much of the Flatiron District was still farmland during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Neighborhood landowners included wagon-and-wheel-maker John Horn, who owned property between 21st and 23rd Streets. Horn was also the proprietor of one of the area’s first pubs, Buck Horn Tavern, at 22nd Street and Broadway. The Tavern was where General, and future first U.S. President, George Washington reportedly met with the public in 1783. 

A half century later, one of Horn’s grandchildren, Margaret, and her husband Christopher Mildeberger, were in the midst of seeking a new site for their Fifth Avenue farmhouse, since the major thoroughfare where the property stood was undergoing a northbound extension. By 1839, their home would not only find a new location, but also a new direction as a commercial property at the corner of Broadway and 23rd Street.

That year the farmhouse was leased to a gentleman known as Corporal Thompson, who then transformed the building into a roadhouse. It was called Madison Cottage, a name chosen by Thompson in tribute to James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

“This converted yellow farmhouse was for many the first stop leaving the city or the last stop before entering the city proper,” according to the Museum of the City of New York’s website. “It served as a post-tavern, stage coach stop, a cattle exhibition hall, and the de facto congregating point for horse-racing enthusiasts among young men of the upper class.”

Henry Collins Brown, author of Glimpses of Old New York, wrote that the cottage “was also the starting place of several stage lines that ran to the lower part of the city and notwithstanding its diminutive size from present day proportions it was a very important and well-known establishment.”

The inn’s entranceway had “a huge pair of antlers cast their shadow over its door,” reported Harper’s Weekly on January 7, 1893,and under that shadow passed every knight of the whip whose throat was parched by the dust of the road.”

Many Madison Cottage guests were “codgers, young and old,” revealed  Abram C. Dayton in Last Days of Knickerbocker Life in New York.“Scores of bon vivants would end their ride for the day by “smiling” with the worthy Corporal, and wash down any of their former improprieties with a sip of his ne plus ultra, which was always kept in reserve for a special nightcap.”

The inn’s perks were also publicized in newspaper ads. One announcement appeared in The New York Herald on May 9, 1847: “Madison Cottage–This beautiful place of resort opposite Madison Square, corner of Twenty-third Street and Broadway, is open for the season, and Palmer's omnibuses drive to the door. It is one of the most agreeable spots for an afternoon's lounge in the suburbs of our city. Go and see." 

An evening stay at the cottage cost four pence for a bed and six pence with supper, noted Miriam Berman, author of Madison Square: The Park and Its Celebrated Landmarks. In addition, said Berman, there were a number of house rules for overnight guests, which included: “No more than five to sleep in one bed. No boots to be worn in bed. No dogs allowed upstairs.”

In 1852, Madison Cottage closed to accommodate the arrival of the amusement arena Franconi's Hippodrome in 1853, followed by the Fifth Avenue Hotel in 1909.

Photo Credit: Museum of the City of New York

Flatiron Faces

Flatiron Faces: Emily Anghel, Community Manager, The Yard

Meet Emily Anghel, Community Manager at The Yard, a coworking space with 14 locations in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Boston, including two Flatiron locations. “I represent the brand on a daily basis and ensure the highest level of member satisfaction, starting with a smile on my face every morning,” says Anghel about her role at The Yard’s Flatiron South location located at 234 Fifth Avenue (between 27th and 28th Streets).

1. What is The Yard? And, please describe some of your responsibilities as Community Manager at The Yard’s Flatiron South location.

The Yard is a dynamic, shared office space community offering private offices, coworking, and innovative amenities for growing businesses. We have 14 locations in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Our beautifully designed spaces include everything you need to run your business–furnished offices, ultra-fast Wi-Fi, members-only lounges, 24/7 access, and more. 

Community Managers wear many hats. They act as the face of their location to potential members and a resource for all the businesses in our community. Every day is different and can include working on anything from maintaining building operations to creating community initiatives or developing new programming for members! Though most days are busy at Flatiron South, I always make time to get up and shake it out to the latest hits! By doing this, I create a well-balanced atmosphere that reminds members to unplug for a few minutes, focus on themselves, and be in the present. 

2. The Yard is part of a growing number of coworking spaces located in Flatiron. What distinguishes The Yard from others, and what are some of your notable amenities?

Our people and culture make The Yard stand out. From the moment you walk through The Yard’s doors, you’ll feel the most professional and personalized experience that is created by our team. We ensure that our focus is on your business by providing a sophisticated environment and access to a variety of resources. We prioritize getting to know your needs to make every workday the best it can be.

Our Art Program is a particularly unique amenity that we are proud to share with our members. Our locations work closely with thoughtfully selected curators and local galleries to decorate our 14 spaces with beautiful artwork. These masterpieces are celebrated during our art receptions every quarter and provide our members with a change in ambience and a twist on the typical networking event. 

3. What types of clients seek out space at the Flatiron South location?

Those who seek out Flatiron South are creative, driven, and want to be in a bustling neighborhood! Many of our members are in the marketing, technology, and wellness industries. 

4. You joined The Yard in 2016. What do you find most rewarding about working with The Yard? 

Meeting a new member and watching them grow within The Yard is what I find most rewarding. I have made dear friends from working here, and it’s incredible to see what they have accomplished since they joined our community. Seeing members meet one another and actually collaborating is where the magic really happens–it gets me every time!

Another truly rewarding experience was bringing our culture and brand to the City of Brotherly Love. I had the opportunity to relocate and help open our Philadelphia location in May 2017. I spent a year there building a new community while watching the space come to life! Now that I am back in New York City, I am training to take on the role of Culture Coordinator, which will ensure the highest level of community engagement and satisfaction between our staff and members. I’m taking on more HR-related responsibilities while the company grows, and it’s really exciting to see our successes as well!.

5. What advice would you offer to those interested in similar, community-facing work? 

Find a company whose culture allows you to explore different interests you have. Being a Community Manager allows you to develop your people, customer service, and business development skills while learning about so many different industries. Making sure you’re at a company that allows you to grow from within while expanding these skills is key. The Yard is helping me expand my personal and career interests by enabling me to train toward a role on our Culture team.

6. You’re originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. What do you miss about Oklahoma? And, what are your favorite parts of working in Flatiron?

I was born in Tulsa, but moved to Illinois quite soon thereafter. I would definitely consider myself a Midwesterner! I miss the familiarity of living in one place for most of my life and, of course, Chicago-style hot dogs. However, nothing beats being able to take my lunch to Madison Square Park, sit on a bench, and enjoy the energy of Flatiron and its people.

7. Where do you like to grab a bite to eat in the neighborhood, and what’s your go-to dish?

I enjoy dining at Hanjan, a traditional and gastronomic Korean restaurant. The ‘Bulgogi’ Beef Bibimbap is outstanding and my go-to every time!

8. What do you consider a “must-see” or “must-do” here in the neighborhood?

A walk through Eataly is a must! It opens your eyes to a plethora of food and drink that you wouldn’t find just anywhere. Also, the Nutella Bar is a guilty pleasure of mine! 

9. What’s your favorite building or architectural element in the area?

My favorite building in the Flatiron District is the Appellate Courthouse on Madison Avenue and 25th Street. The marble building glimmers in the sunlight and these intricate statues stand tall on its facade. It’s always a breath of fresh air to see a historic building among modern architecture!

10. Finally, choose three words to describe the Flatiron District.

Unique. Cultural. Electric. 

Photo Credit: The Yard

Walking Tour

Weekly Free Walking Tour

Join our professional guides on a 90-minute journey through this vibrant neighborhood, viewing some of the City’s most notable landmarks.

Click here for more information.

What People Are Saying see

“Village meets midtown.”

When asked to describe the Flatiron District in three words

Brandon Stanton
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

Marc Glosserman
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

Quick Stats

21M+

Square feet of commercial real estate

46M+

Total 2016 MTA riders for 23rd Street (1,6,N,R,F,M) and 28th St (1,6,N,R) stations

4,270

Hotel rooms

10,769

Taxi drop offs per weekday in 2016

3.3+

Dollars invested in the Public Plazas by the BID