Leeds’ Flat Iron Building: the ‘older cousin’ to New York’s famous landmark

You’ve probably heard of New York’s iconic landmark, The Flat Iron building.

It’s photographed thousands of time every year and is globally recognised for its unique design.

But did you know that Leeds has it’s own version, and it was actually built 20 years before its cousin over in the big apple?

Also known as Leeds Bridge House, this landmark Leeds building isn’t quite the size of the American building, it bears a remarkable resemblance.

Image: The Hoot Leeds
New York’s Flat Iron. / Image: Wikipedia PD

The triangle-shaped building gets its name for resembling a flat iron held over a a fire or stove, and heated to create this unique shape.

As the name suggests it can be found just opposite the famous river crossing of Leeds Bridge and when opened in 1881, it was the home of a ‘people’s cafe’ – a working man’s club providing cheap food and affordable accommodation with 30 rooms.

Inside, it’s reported to have a stone staircase with glazed white bricks running all the way from the basement to the top floor. There used to be hoists to reach all five levels of the building too.

The building was almost destroyed In 1960 when Leeds City Council bought the building to build a motorway extension. But luckily, this never happened and it was refurbished in the 1980’s and converted to office space.

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These days the flat iron building remains as one of the city’s most unique and distinctive buildings, and we like to think it inspired the more famous one over in Manhattan (although we’re not sure anyone would have ever admitted that at the time).

Feature Image – The Hoot Leeds

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