Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building

Air date: 04/03/2014

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


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.

Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building is a production of WLIW LLC for WNET in association with Vanguard Documentaries Inc. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV.

Charles Hobson is executive producer of Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building. Rebecca Fasanello is coordinating producer. Diane Masciale is general manager of WLIW21 and executive producer of local production, including the Treasures of New York series.  Executive-in-Charge is John Servidio. Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building is made possible by The Sorgente Group of America, Esther Braun Sparberg and The Gural Family Foundation.



About WNET
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as NatureGreatPerformancesAmericanMastersPBSNewsHourWeekendCharlieRose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as GettheMathOhNoah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTSReel13NJTVNewswithMikeSchneider and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEENExploreiPadApp where users can stream PBS content for free.

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