Awash with iconic, architectural buildings that reveal the history of this urban metropolis, New York City is full of surprises. Walking down the bustling city streets, dodging the impossible crowds, one doesn’t often take the time to look up. But when you do, you would often notice the picturesque facades blemished by unattractive and environmentally destructive air conditioning units protruding from historic windows all over the city.
Take the Flatiron building, for instance. Designed by Chicago’s Daniel Burnham, the Flatiron building is one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers and is quintessential New York City. Upon its completion in 1902, the curiously shaped building was one of the tallest buildings in New York City and was designated a New York City landmark in 1966.
Coupling Renaissance Revival design with Beaux Arts style, the building’s triangular plan was developed to fit the acute angle created by the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street. Shaped like a perfect right triangle, it measures only six feet across at its narrow end.
Today, this architectural giant’s windows are home to myriad of unsightly window air conditioning units that consume unnecessary amounts of energy and drip water on passers-by. We must do better.
In an effort to celebrate emblematic architecture and highlight the problem we are working to solve, we will publish a series on NYC architectural greats and their current status. Be sure to check back soon.
Photo: José Miguel Hernández Hernández