The Flatiron building is best known for its angular form and its striking architectural details. But back in the early 1900s it gained notoriety for something far less virtuous: the 23 skidoo.
Because the Flatiron building sits at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway, which together form a sharp angle, winds will often collect to create currents strong enough to lift a woman’s skirt. While by today’s standards bare legs and ankles aren’t worth taking note of, back then this sight was a real treat for the fellas. As such, hordes of men would flock to 23rd Street in hopes catching one of the many old-timey wardrobe malfunctions that occurred throughout the day. In fact, according to Andrew S. Dolkart, professor of Historic Preservation at the Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the number of men who gathered would sometimes become so disruptive that police would have to shoo them away!