When the building opened, it only had bathrooms for men but the management later alternated the floors, one for men and one for women, a pattern that continues today.
New Yorkers were relatively unfamiliar with steel cage construction when the Flatiron was built. The thinness of the building also added to the public’s trepidation, and there was a fear that the building could topple over.
Once the foundation was set, the floors went up at a rate of one floor per week. And once the steel frame was done, it only took four months to finish the building, which was completed in June 1902.
When built, the Flatiron Building was called The Fuller Building, named after architect George A. Fuller, who was called “the father of the skyscraper.” Though originally from Chicago, Fuller opened an office in New York City in 1895, four years after New York City altered its building code to allow for skeleton construction and curtain walls. Here, Fuller built The New York Times Building in Times Square in 1898. Chicago architects Daniel Burnham and Frederick P. Dinkelberg employed a technique like that developed by Fuller for the Flatiron Building, and the building served as the offices of The Fuller Company until 1929. The name would not stick around though, as locals nicknamed it The Flatiron and the name stuck.