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Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building

Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building Premieres April 3 on WLIW21 and THIRTEEN

The Flatiron Building
PBS/Lib. of Congress

Hosted by the acclaimed actress and singer-songwriter Mare Winningham, the film reveals both fact and legend behind one of New York City’s most recognizable landmarks.

In the late 19th century, the American Industrial Revolution was in full swing. The population in the country had tripled with the arrival of immigrants in search of a new life. This cheap and industrious workforce filled American cities and helped drive the economy to a scale never before seen in this country. Companies had staffs of more than 1,000 employees for the first time in American history. Due to this vast industrial expansion, people needed larger office buildings. And with New York City real estate at a premium, investors wanted taller buildings.

Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building, premiering on April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. on WLIW21 and 10:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN, explores the lore of the iconic structure at 175 Fifth Avenue that has mesmerized the world for more than 100 years. Based on Alice Sparberg Alexiou’s book, “The Flatiron: The New York Landmark and the Incomparable City That Arose With It,” the documentary shares the stories behind the erection of the first skyscraper in Manhattan outside of the Wall Street area. Through rare, early motion pictures and photographs, the film takes viewers back to New York’s “Gilded Age” to show how the Flatiron Building became a singular expression of the exploding American metropolis. Additionally, it spotlights New York’s transformation into a modern city, its cultural heritage, its points of interest, distinguished establishments and notable figures.

After the initial broadcast, the full episode will be available for online streaming at The website offers past episodes and conversations with visionaries behind New York’s greatest institutions.

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