5. Sonny’s Collection of Flatiron Building Artifacts

A collection of Flatiron artifacts

Inside and outside Sonny’s office are more historical artifacts connected to the Flatiron Building. There’s an old radiator that Sonny says is undoubtedly in its original spot. There’s a large safe, wood molding from around the original revolving door, a doorknob, and ornamental decorations that came from where the Sprint store was previously in the prow.

Remnants of parts of the Flatiron Building

Perhaps most notably, although not at first glance, are the parts of the original water hydraulic elevator system. The contraption at the left of the photograph below is where the original phrase, “Balls to the wall” comes from. When elevators were manually operated, you could misjudge and crash while heading down, causing the two ball-like pieces to open up and get stuck in the wall, which has to be manually released at the top of the elevator shaft.

A doorknob
A radiator
A safe

Inside Sonny’s office is a wall of fame, with photos of him and the celebrities and other notable people who have visited the building. These include the artist JR (who did the main work of his series Walking New York in the plaza in front of the Flatiron Building), Michael Bolton, Jamie Lee Curtis, David Blaine, and many more.