Madison Square, located in the Flatiron district, is one of the historically most important squares in New York City. The attractive Madison Square Park is surrounded by historic landmarks from the Gilded Age, including the famous Flatiron Building and the iconic Metlife Tower.
The first decades after Madison Square Park was officially designed as a public space in 1847, Madison Square was mostly a residential area. From 1859 onwards, with the opening of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the area started to become the center of New York's social life. Many major hotels moved into the area, followed by retailers and the entertainment industry.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Madison Square had become Manhattan's shopping paradise. Such was the concentration of shops that the section of Broadway between Union Square and Madison Square became known as the Ladies' Mile. Most of the retailers have long moved up town, but many of the buildings in the area have been preserved.