Flatiron Building’s Limestone and Terracotta Façade Renovation Progresses in Flatiron District, Manhattan

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

Renovation work is continuing to progress on the Flatiron Building, one of Manhattan’s most famous buildings. The Flatiron District project is developed by GFP Real Estate and involves restoration of the commercial building’s limestone and terracotta envelope, the replacement of its window-hung air conditioning units with central heating and cooling, and the installation of a new sprinkler system, a second egress staircase, upgraded elevators, rooftop solar panels, and rain reclamation tanks. Designed by Daniel Burhnam and officially addressed as 175 Fifth Avenue, the 119-year-old steel-framed office building was one of the first skyscrapers to be constructed in the 20th century and rises on a thin triangular parcel wedged between Broadway and Fifth Avenue and West 22nd and West 23rd Streets. YIMBY last reported that the restoration is expected to cost between $60 and $80 million.

Recent photos show the state of the property since our last update nearly a year and a half ago. Since then, the metal scaffolding and black netting remains standing on the three corners of the iconic New York landmark, while numerous pieces of the limestone and terracotta envelope appear to have been removed. This absence is most visible on the eastern façade alongside Broadway.

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

Photos from Madison Square Park and the multiple pedestrian plazas around the Flatiron Building show the missing parts of the ornate fenestration. The voids are being temporarily braced by wooden frames as the extracted stone is being repaired and remolded. All of the air conditioners that once were installed on the majority of the windows across the entire structure were removed long ago, and now the windows are fully closed. Wooden boards currently obscure the work progressing on the northern corner of the building, but we can assume that crews are working to restore to the delicate stonework. Multiple cables run down from the roof parapet and over the sides to the sidewalk scaffolding.

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

The Flatiron Building. Photo by Michael Young

Macmillan Publishing was the last tenant to move out, and formerly occupied all 22 floors, but it is unclear who the anchor tenant will be upon completion of the renovation.

Work is expected to be finished sometime in 2022.

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TFC Horizon
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8 Comments on "Flatiron Building’s Limestone and Terracotta Façade Renovation Progresses in Flatiron District, Manhattan"

  1. David in Bushwick | March 20, 2021 at 8:24 am | Reply

    My goodness, this is a very substantial renovation. Sadly NY has lost most of its 19 century buildings and early skyscrapers, we are fortunate this most iconic of early NY skyscrapers will be here to enjoy for another century.

  2. Delicacy for sure. Big kudos to GFP Real Estate, for the renovation of a building as iconic as the Flatiron Building is no simple task. But, when it’s done, its glory will be able to be enjoyed and treasured for many decades to come.

  3. Bravo to this restoration! The care they are taking is heartening. I hope they also install lighting so that it glows at night the way a building if this importance should; it has been shrouded in darkness after dusk for far too long. They should hire the team that did the incredible lights on the NY Life building across the park.

  4. I’ve always thought this building would make a great hotel or condo conversion. A rooftop bar or restaurant would be insane.

  5. I was in the building a few times during my career…it was narrow and unique, and nowadays, perfect fir an open floor plan

  6. ..and a beautiful blue sky !

  7. Newer buildings should study how Flatiron respects its unique lot.

  8. Mr. J S Friedman | March 21, 2021 at 5:51 pm | Reply

    If my memory is correct as a young boy in the 1950’s-early 1960’s there was a model railroad display on the first floor during the Xmas holiday season.

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