The Flatiron Building is located at 401 East Court Street in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and was constructed in 1902 for the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company.(3) It housed shipping department on the first floor, stock rooms on the second through fourth floors, beveling room on the fifth and a mirror production room on the sixth.(4)
On August 3, 1903,(2) the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company building burned.(1) The fire was first reported at 11:45 AM, when Policeman James Mount passed by the building and noticed a small fire burning on the second floor. He raced to a patrol box and sent in a still alarm.(1) But by the time firefighters arrived, an explosion had occurred on the second level that sent flames reaching into the sky. Falling bricks injured three pedestrians.(2) By the time three lines were sent into the building, explosions stemming from the stored barrels of oil and paint began to occur on the south side of the structure on the ground floor.(1) Thankfully, the over 12,000 barrels of turpentine and linseed oil that were stored in an attached iron cellar had not been breached.
The structure was constructed on the principal of “mill construction,” with steel columns and girders but with wooden joists. The building lacked any fire protection. It was noted at the time of the fire that because the pressed brick walls were cracked, that the building may have to be demolished.(1)
The Cincinnati Tribune estimated that the losses topped $300,000.(1) It contained at a minimum $200,000 in stock, while the building was valued at $100,000. Another estimate pegged it at $450,000.(2)
- Designation: Flatiron Building
- Address: 401 East Court Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Constructed: 1902
- Height: 83 feet