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Publisher's Summary

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 20th 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.

©2010 Alice Sparberg Alexiou (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Flatiron

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Thank you, Audible, for producing this

Thank you, Audible, for producing this book, that otherwise might not have been recorded. Historical material of interest but not compelling.

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful and vivid!

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book which not only gave an insightful account of the origins of the Flat Iron Building, but also vividly and intimately brought to life New York at the turn of the century. It made me feel like I was right there!

1 person found this helpful

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Is this narrator a computer?

With so many words being mispronounced, I thought the narrator was a computer program. I cringed every time I heard a word or name mispronounced. I was shocked to learn that the narrator was really a person. Not enough to take away from the story but enough to distract and lessen the experience of the read. Some may not be bothered by this but if you know the correct pronunciation and focus on articulation, then these things will bother you.

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Read

I feel as though this is a good book to listen to for anyone who is involved in real estate or construction

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Couldn't finish it

What was most disappointing about Alice Sparberg Alexiou’s story?

The topic is very interesting. However, the author included a lot of suppositions about what people thought. It didn't come across as well researched.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator mispronounced foreign words and her timing was off.

Any additional comments?

These comments are based on two hours of listening. Be sure to listen to the book before purchasing.