The Flatiron South

Atlanta is not known for being a “walking” city, and perhaps unfairly, is often criticized for demolishing too many of its historic structures.  It does sprawl over a large area and the bustling interstate highways divides the city in half, but there are interesting sections that are well worth exploring.  I took advantage of  a gorgeous late autumn morning and walked the downtown business district, enjoying views of the elegant historic Flatiron building.

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The Flat Iron Building, formally known as the English-American Building, was the second skyscraper built in Atlanta and the oldest one still standing. The building is in downtown Atlanta in the oldest part of the business district. Nearby attractions include the Georgia State Capitol, the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District, the Georgia Dome, CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park.
The eleven-story Flat Iron Building was built in 1897, 4 years before its more famous cousin in New York, and didn’t take that building’s nickname until 1916. The name comes from the triangular shape of the building, thought to resemble an old-fashioned iron. The building was designed by Bradford Gilbert, a New York architect who was a pioneer of the steel-frame skyscraper. The structure is in the “Chicago Style” of architecture, characterized by its steel frame and large, street-level windows.

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A pretty street scene on Broad Street.  The West side of the “iron” is on the left.

85 Comments

  1. Wonderful photos. I used to live in Hot’Lanta many years ago and I am struck by the quiet, nearly empty streets and neighborhood. Looks like you found a peaceful spot in a city so fast-paced that these days I have to psyche myself up just to drive through it!

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    1. You are so right! Broad street is zoo during the week, I almost can’t breathe when I drive through there. I should have mentioned on the post that it was early Sunday morning after an airport run. It was like a different city!

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  2. Love this building. I was amazed when I saw the one in New York for the first time last year. I didn’t know there was one in Atlanta. Thank you for sharing this and Atlanta with us.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  3. I had no idea Atlanta’s Flat Iron building was first. Actually, I had no idea there was one other than in NYC. I have seen many photographs of the NYC one, but never one of Atlanta’s. This shot is absolutely beautiful. The building is so much prettier than its cousin. Perhaps, it’s just your photograph with the wonderful colors and the sharpness and the general ambiance of it. I agree with the Birdcage about the desire to climb into that photo! I’ll meet you guys there. Your photography is superb, Elisa. I look at hundreds of photos all the time. You’re up there with the best. You really are. Do you use any special graphics program or apps in your post processing? The photos look as if they’ve had very little manipulation. That’s what is so impressive about them. They are always filled with light and warmth. I love it! 🙂

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    1. I agree with you, I think the Atlanta version is a prettier, almost more feminine version of the building in New York. The morning I took this picture was glorious, with a magical light from the sun. I don’t use any processing software, but would love to learn someday when I have the time. I just use the reliable iphoto on my old apple computer to crop or lighten. I am a true beginner when it comes to photography, but I do get the light thing! Your comments made my heart soar, by the way. Thank you, thank you, George, for giving me the confidence to keep clicking! Enjoy the night,
      Elisa

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      1. I KNEW it. You can’t fix up a bad photo. I still subscribe to the theory that the very best image is the one that comes out of the camera. A crop and a bit of light does it for the really great images. I love it, I tell you! Just keep doing what you’re doing. You don’t need to know a thing that you don’t see through those eyes of yours!

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  4. I love your photography, and I’m in Atlanta, too! Just ITP on the north side. Thanks for liking my post, and I’ll be keeping up with yours!

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  5. Such interesting character along that street! I love that first building. I suspect that architect walked around seeing the world in angles and shapes rather than color and depth.

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  6. Yet another place I need to check out here in Atlanta! Thank you for posting about it, great photos. I took courses toward a graduate degree in Historic Preservation at the Art Institute of Chicago before I had my son. Wish I had been able to finish. Love those historic buildings!

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    1. Jennifer, the entire business section is really very pretty. When you venture down there, pick a weekend day. The traffic is unbelievable during the week, and it’s a mob scene when Georgia State is in session. It has a great vibe, but you just can’t move!

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  7. Lovely photos! I absolutely am NOT a city person, yet LOVED visiting Atlanta back in the eighties. Bands with BRASS, no less, playing into the wee hours! Walking all over that city – guess I didn’t know it wasn’t for walking! The overhead walking paths were something I had never seen anywhere else before that time. Nice memories.

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    1. Atlanta was fun in the eighties, I didn’t live here then, but visited a friend who grew up here. That’s the first thing I noticed was the big city, small town feel, and the crowds spilling out of the bars into the streets. It’s not quite like that anymore, but still a very progressive city!

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  8. beautiful building and such a lovely street, I would want to walk all over there, it is what I think of the area looking like, never been.

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    1. I just google imaged it and found it to be quite charming. I have yet to visit Seattle, or set my sights on the Space Needle. How could that be? I’ll let you know when we’re heading that way…

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  9. Love your picture – the flat iron looks so much nicer than the NY one. So sad I didn’t get to see it when we visited Atlanta in September.. will have to go back on our next visit to the USA.

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  10. I learned something today, I didn’t know there was another flat iron building, I thought there was just one in Manhattan. It’s a beautiful building. Your photos are so beautiful, you’ve inspired me to take a tour in my little town and photograph street scenes 🙂

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  11. You captured this historic building with flair. It has a lovely, graceful look. I could not help thinking that eleven stories would not be thought of as a “skyscraper” today, most buildings in our modern downtowns are much taller and larger. Times do change. 🙂

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  12. I love flatiron buildings! And it is a shame that they are disappearing-this is a wonderful shot and really captures what makes these buildings so, so special.
    Thank you too for taking the time to stop by my blog-I appreciate it-

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