The English--American Building, built in 1897, is Atlanta's oldest
standing skyscraper. It was designed by Bradford Gilbert for the English--American
Loan and Trust Company. It pre-dates New York City's larger and more
famous Flatiron Building built in 1901 by D.H. Burnham and Company.
The English--American Building has played an important role in structuring
the urban environment of downtown Atlanta. Both the exterior surfaces
and the narrow triangular form have continually provided a strong
anchor to the central business district (the Fairlie--Poplar
Historic District). In 1910 it became known as the Empire Life
Building for six years until it was renamed the Flatiron Building.
11 story triangular English--American
NPS photograph by Jody Cook
The building is an 11-story, narrow triangular steel-framed building
which conforms to its lot between Peachtree, Broad and Poplar streets
in the center of Atlanta's downtown business district. The steel
frame is enclosed at the base in heavy limestone piers, while stone
facing in upper stories provides a vigorously sculptural form for
the entire building. The street facades contain the base and shaft
capital components. The base is equivalent to two stories in height
with large glass areas separated by stone piers. The two upper floors
above a heavy cornice and a parapet are the cap of the building.
Historic postcard of English--American
Courtesy of Jody Cook
While the exterior of the building remains intact, some alterations
to the original fabric have occurred. The original brick and limestone
wall surfaces have been subsequently painted. A corridor originally
passed through the center of the building with elevators adjacent
to this passageway, and the original walls of this area have been
remodeled with smooth marble. The Georgia Savings Bank and Trust
Company purchased the building in 1920 and held the title for more
than 50 years. In 1974, the Hamilton Bank and Trust Company acquired
the building. Presently, Historic Urban Equities Limited owns the
building and leases office space to various organizations, including
several architectural firms.
The English--American Building, more commonly known as the
Flatiron Building, is located at 84 Peachtree St. in downtown Atlanta.
It is open to the public during normal business hours.
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