The Flatiron: The New York Landmark and the Incomparable City That Arose with It

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The marvelous story of the Flatiron: the instantly recognizable building that signaled the start of a new era in New York history.

Critics hated it. The public feared it would topple over. Passersby were knocked down by the winds. But even before it was completed, the Flatiron Building had become an unforgettable part of New York City.

The Flatiron Building was built by the Chicago-based Fuller Company--a group founded by George Fuller, "the father of the skyscraper"--to be their New York headquarters. The company's president, Harry Black, was never able to make the public call the Flatiron the Fuller Building, however. Black's was the country's largest real estate firm, constructing Macy's department store, and soon after the Plaza Hotel, the Savoy Hotel, and many other iconic buildings in New York as well as in other cities across the country. With an ostentatious lifestyle that drew constant media scrutiny, Black made a fortune only to meet a tragic, untimely end.

In The Flatiron, Alice Sparberg Alexiou chronicles not just the story of the building but the heady times in New York at the dawn of the twentieth century. It was a time when Madison Square Park shifted from a promenade for rich women to one for gay prostitutes; when photography became an art; motion pictures came into existence; the booming economy suffered increasing depressions; jazz came to the forefront of popular music--and all within steps of one of the city's best-known and best-loved buildings.

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About the author

ALICE SPARBERG ALEXIOU is the author of Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary. She has been an editor of Lilith magazine and written for The New York Times and Newsday, among others. She is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and has a Ph.D. in classics from Fordham University. She lives in New York.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Jun 8, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781429923873
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Buildings / Landmarks & Monuments
Architecture / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The New York Times Book Review: "Alexiou guides us through this checkered history with gusto."

Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd: "Devil's Mile is a terrific read. Alice Sparberg Alexiou knows her history, and she brings it all brimming to life here in the story of the Bowery, the most notorious street in America."

A fascinating cultural history of New York City's Bowery, from the author of The Flatiron.

The Bowery was a synonym for despair throughout most of the 20th century. The very name evoked visuals of drunken bums passed out on the sidewalk, and New Yorkers nicknamed it “Satan’s Highway,” “The Mile of Hell,” and “The Street of Forgotten Men.” For years the little businesses along the Bowery—stationers, dry goods sellers, jewelers, hatters—periodically asked the city to change the street’s name. To have a Bowery address, they claimed, was hurting them; people did not want to venture there.

But when New York exploded into real estate frenzy in the 1990s, developers discovered the Bowery. They rushed in and began tearing down. Today, Whole Foods, hipster night spots, and expensive lofts have replaced the old flophouses and dive bars, and the bad old Bowery no longer exists.

In Devil’s Mile, Alice Sparberg Alexiou tells the story of The Bowery, starting with its origins, when forests covered the surrounding area, and through the pre-Civil War years, when country estates of wealthy New Yorkers lined this thoroughfare. She then describes The Bowery’s deterioration in stunning detail, starting in the post-bellum years. She ends her historical exploration of this famed street in the present, bearing witness as the old Bowery buildings, and the memories associated with them, are disappearing.

At its most expansive, the Roman Empire stretched from the British Isles to Egypt; Rome was the ancient world's greatest superpower. Roman Architecture: A Visual Guide is an illustrated introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire. Published as a companion volume to Diana E. E. Kleiner's course on Roman Architecture given through Coursera (first offered in January 2014 but based on a class she has long taught at Yale), this enhanced e-book explores not only Rome but also buildings preserved at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Tivoli, North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, and North Africa. Beginning with the birth of Rome as an Iron Age village, Roman Architecture traces the growth and expansion of the Roman Empire through its cities, which featured civic, religious, commercial, entertainment, and residential districts in the urban setting. A valuable resource for both the student and the traveler, Roman Architecture features over 250 photographs and site plans of the most intriguing and consequential buildings in the Roman Empire. These are presented from the fresh perspective of an author who has journeyed to nearly all of the sites, revealing most of them through her own digital images. In addition, this interactive e-book makes learning about these monuments easier than ever, with handy maps and geolocation links that show you just where the monuments are and, if you're traveling, how to get there. Suitable for the classroom and as a guidebook, Roman Architecture is a fascinating introduction to some of history's most compelling and influential architecture.

This unique volume uncovers the most fascinating and compelling stories from The New York Times about the city the paper calls home.

More than 200 articles and an abundance of photographs, illustrations, maps, and graphs from the preeminent newspaper in the world take a look at the history and personality of the world's most influential city. Read firsthand accounts of the subway opening in 1904 and the day the Metrocard was introduced; the fall of Tammany Hall and recurring corruption in city politics; the Son of Sam murders; jazz clubs in the 1920s and legendary performances at the Fillmore East; baseball's Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier at Brooklyn's storied Ebbets Field in 1947; the 1977 and 2004 blackouts; the openings and closings of the city's most beloved restaurants; and much more. Not just a historical account, this is a fascinating, sometimes funny, and often moving look at how people in New York live, eat, travel, mourn, fight, love, and celebrate.

Organized by theme, the book includes original writings on all topics related to city life, including art, architecture, transportation, politics, neighborhoods, people, sports, business, food, and more. Includes articles from such well-known Times writers as Meyer Berger, Gay Talese, Anna Quindlen, Israel Shenker, Brooks Atkinson, Frank Rich, Ada Louise Huxtable, John Kieran, Russell Baker, and more. Special contributors who have written about New York for the Times include Paul Auster, Woody Allen, and E.B. White, among others.
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