On March 25, 1911, a terrible fire killed 146 garment workers working inside the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Building at 23-29 Washington Place. At the time of the fire, the building housed a factory that made women's blouses and employed 600 workers, most of them immigrant women and many of them quite young.
They worked long shifts and were paid low wages. When the fatal fire broke out in the factory, seamstresses on the ninth floor found one staircase full of smoke and flames, and the other exit door was locked. Many jumped to their deaths. The shame of the working conditions revealed in the tragedy helped spur growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (now part of UNITE, Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees). Today, March 25, 2011, marks the 100th anniversary of the horrible event.
Images: Memorials at the former Asch Building, site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, 100 years ago today, March 25, 2011. Washington Place and Greene St.
View Site of Triangle Fire in a larger map