Designed by the Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, known for his skyscrapers, this steel-framed terra-cotta and stone-clad skyscraper represents the developers' first (and ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to create a new business center north of Wall Street. They built it as a speculative project with the intention of renting out offices to various commercial and financial enterprises.

Bearing the influence of architectural trends introduced at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Burnham's eye-catching design combined elements of French and Italian Renaissance architecture in an effort to attract businesses to this formerly residential and retail-oriented neighborhood. The building's triangular plan was a clever response to the awkward site produced by the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Its ornate but restrained facade is composed of stone and terra-cotta panels whose forms simulate the effects of rustication. Undulating bays break up the monotony of the building's tall midsection. The overall effect is that of a palazzo stretched to great height. Here, for the first time, the construction of a steel-framed skyscraper was witnessed in its entirety by the general public--a event which generated much response. The building fascinated photographers and was immortalized in the work of Edward Steichen and Alfred Steiglitz.


Fuller/Flatiron Building
175 5th Avenue, Daniel Burnham & Co. [1902]