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Site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, A Place That Matters

asch building shirt waist fire new york city place matters memorial

The former Asch Building at 23-29 Washington Place, site of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, nominated by Bruce Kayton.

Ninety-six years ago this coming Sunday, on March 25, 1911, 146 young women died in less than fifteen minutes when fire blazed through the upper floors of the Asch Building where they worked the sewing machines of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Most of the victims were Jewish immigrants. The horrible event underscored demands by the city’s working people for safe workplaces, and today, organized labor still gathers at the site of the fire to keep the memory and claim alive. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the building a landmark in 2003, put forth by Place Matters.

On Monday, March 26, 2007, from 12noon-1pm, UNITEHERE!, the NYC Fire Dept., and NYC public schools will hold a public ceremony in front of the building, at the NW corner of Washington and Greene Streets. It is now called the Brown Building and owned by NYU.

Following the ceremony on March 26, public artist Ruth Sergel will lead the 4th annual “CHALK and the Triangle Factory Fire,” where chalkers spread out across the city to inscribe the names and ages of the victims in front of their former homes.