A selfie of me in front of the Flatiron Building.

To be completely transparent, despite living within the city limits for the vast majority of my life, until attending class on the main campus I have always avoided Downtown like the plague. I have never been a fan of this section of the city, but my time at GSU has softened my stance towards this neighborhood and I have come to appreciate some of it’s characteristics. One of these is the unique architecture that can be found throughout Downtown that is not present in the rest of Atlanta. In my opinion, the Flatiron Building is unmatched in this regard. I have come to greatly appreciate it’s unique feel; whenever I cross it’s path, it makes me feel as though I have taken a step back in time to the turn of the 20th century. In an era where the urban landscape of this city is rapidly changing, this building and it’s timelessness has become a source of comfort for me.

The Flatiron building, circa 1921. 1

I decided to delve into the history of this building some for this assignment, and was astonished to find out that it was originally called the English-American building. It was named for the English-American Loan and Trust Company, whom architect Bradford Gilbert designed it for. Construction on the building ended in 1897, and it is now considered to be Atlanta’s oldest standing skyscraper. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Atlanta’s Flatiron actually predates New York’s more well-known Flatiron Building by four years, as the latter was not constructed until 1901. Ownership of the building has changed hands 3 times since 1920, and it is currently owned by Historic Urban Equities Limited. While the area around the building has changed over the decades since it’s inception, the Flatiron Building has managed to remain an anchor of the Business district in Downtown Atlanta.2

  1. Ewing Galloway, Atlanta’s “Flatiron” Building, Broad and Peachtree Streets, Atlanta, Georgia, .jpg file, commons.wikimedia.org, April 21, 2013, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Collier%27s_1921_Georgia_-Atlanta(Flatiron_Building).jpg. (Accessed February 15, 2022)
  2. “English-American Building.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/atlanta/eng.htm (accessed February 15, 2022)