Time Travel

The Flatiron Building (And a Bizarre Time Travel Claim)

The Flatiron Building is a bit weird to look at. Shaped like a triangle, its narrowest point is just six and a half feet wide. It’s one of the most iconic buildings in New York, and also has quite a bit of interesting trivia to go with it.

Weird Facts About the Flatiron Building

Image: cdelmoral/Flickr via CC by 2.0
Image: cdelmoral/Flickr via CC by 2.0

Designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, the Flatiron Building stands today as a national historic landmark, and one of the oldest buildings in New York City. It also has a storied history. For example:

  • When the Flatiron Building was being constructed, more than a few people were worried. While some felt it would become an eye-sore like many once believed about the Eiffel Tower, others had more practical concerns – namely, that it would fall over. This was not only due to its unique shape, but also because it used a steel skeleton, a new technique at the time. They even called it Burnham’s Folly.
  • Strangely enough, it’s not called the Flatiron Building because it’s flat and shaped like an iron. It’s called that because of its location, which also happens to be wedge-shaped. The streets Broadway, Fifth Avenue, 23rd and 22nd are together otherwise known as the Flat Iron.
  • The building initially only had men’s restrooms. This was a bit of an problem, as you can imagine, so to fix it they decided to have men’s and women’s restrooms on alternating floors.
Image: thenails/Flickr via CC by 2.0
Image: thenails/Flickr via CC by 2.0
  • Grotesque faces line the upper floors of the Flatiron Building, watching the populace down below.
  • The original elevators at the Flatiron were hydraulic. That’s right – they moved by water. This system was ultimately replaced and updated not too long ago.
  • The Flatiron was built in about one year. The frame itself was constructed at the rate of a floor a week, with the entire building finished by June 1902.
  • And for our last fact: It’s probably going to end up being turned into a hotel by an Italian real estate firm.

A Time Traveler’s Design

The Flatiron Building Under Construction
Image: Public Domain

Now, I hear rumors. I hear rumors of rumors. I never claim they’re legit or even remotely worth talking about, but I share them anyway because that’s what I do. That’s what this website is all about.

So, here we are. Here we go. Don’t kill the messenger. I’ve heard tell once or twice that the Flatiron Building was not, in fact, designed and constructed by any normal person.

No, it was made to the explicit design specifications of a time traveler.

Why? I don’t know; it’s just what I heard, and you know how I am about time travel. The claimed evidence is that the photograph up there, taken while the Flatiron Building was under construction, shows an alleged time traveler sporting a rocket pack and a cape, who can be seen hovering near the building’s top.

A Time Traveler?
Image: Public Domain

If you have trouble believing that claim, or that the time traveler in the above image isn’t just a flag or tarp or, worse, a leaf, just remember: There are neither facts nor certainty here, only illusions.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.