After 112 years since the incident, NYC has finally dedicated a memorial site to the victims and those impacted by one of America’s greatest workplace tragedies, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, which inhabited the top three floors of the ten-story Asch Building in Greenwich Village, broke out into a devastating fire. More than 500 employees, majority immigrant women, were working when the fire began on the eighth floor. Though many workers on the eighth and tenth floor were fortunate enough to escape, ninth floor employees were trapped.
A total of 146 workers were killed due to a collapsed fire escape, a locked rear door and fire truck ladders’ inability to reach beyond the sixth floor. Many of the casualties chose to jump to their death rather than remain in the burning building.
In response to the tragedy, agencies were formed to protect the health and safety of employees in the workplace. Now, more than a century later, NYC has dedicated the location of the fire as a memorial site at the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place.
Onlookers can read the story of the fire told in English, Yiddish and Italian, all three of the languages that were spoken by the victims. Names of the victims adorn the memorial alongside their age.
The memorial was designed by Richard Joon Yoo and Uri Wegman. To learn more about the tragedy or the memorial site, explore Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition’s website.
Where: Corner of Greene Street and Washington Place