The New York Series, Part 4…

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I would forgive you if you called me obsessed by the Flatiron Building in New York. Given how much time I spent trying to capture its lovely uniqueness from different angles, even on different days and at different times and with different lenses, I could not argue. (And no doubt I will do the same next time I’m in New York — trying yet again to capture its essence.)

This is the building I love — way more than the Empire State or the Chrysler or any of the other iconic buildings. The Flatiron says New York to me…

Completed in 1902, it’s shaped like an old fashioned cast iron clothes iron, thus the name. It sits on a triangular island-block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street.

It was designed by Chicago’s Daniel Burnham as a vertical Renaissance palazzo with Beaux-Arts styling. The bottom of its facade is limestone changing to glazed terra cotta from Staten Island.

H.G. Wells wrote of the Flatiron Building in 1906:

I found myself agape, admiring a sky-scraper the prow of the Flat-iron Building, to be particular, ploughing up through the traffic of Broadway and Fifth Avenue in the afternoon light.

Now I get one of the reasons I love it. It reminds me of a ship!

I also love the cast iron clock not far from it on Fifth Avenue.  I set out to try to capture them in the same image. Not a terribly easy task, given that the best spot to stand was smack in the midst of crazy traffic. I didn’t try that.

(I hadn’t noticed the sign in the lower right of the first image until just now. “Have an idea. Make it happen.” Appropriate.)

The clock was installed in 1909. One of the most ornate of New York’s cast-iron street clocks, it’s composed of a rectangular, classically ornamented base, and fluted Ionic column. The two dials, marked by Roman numerals, are framed by wreaths of oak leaves and crowned by a cartouche.  A masterpiece of cast-iron workmanship, it is beautifully designed, and a prominent sidewalk landmark.

Such old, historic and delicately intricate beauties make New York City endlessly fascinating to me and are why I return time after time.

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