A Greenwich Village Legacy: The Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911
Admission is free, open to the public, but tickets required:
Click below for tickets.
Hosted and Sponsored by the SCNY Program Committee
Co-sponsored by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
This very special presentation, on the anniversary of the actual March 25th event, will begin at Salmagundi's entrance at 6:30PM with a walk down Fifth Avenue to the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire for a brief talk before returning to Salmagundi for the 7:30PM lecture.
Blocks away from the historic Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue is another famous landmark - the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Now part of New York University's campus just east of Washington Square Park, this building was the locale for one of the most significant tragedies in American history pre-9-11. This event has influenced many aspects of our lives today - in the garment industry, immigration and life in NYC, labor laws and unions, elevator and fire safety and more.
There were over 500 employees at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory - most were young women, most were recent immigrants. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the 8th floor. Workers ran to the fire escape. It collapsed, dropping them to their deaths. People on the street watched as the workers began to jump out the windows. Fire trucks arrived but their ladders only reached the 6th floor. The elevators ran as long as they could as workers pressed into the cars; some tumbled down the elevator shaft. In the end 146 people died.
As a family descendant of one of the victims, 18 year old Annie Nicholas, Salmagundi member Debbie Wells lectures about the factory and the fire, as well as her journey to uncover her personal family connection through speaking to historians at Cornell University, New York Times and HBO, and especially the Remember the Triangle Coalition whose latest project is to create a Triangle Fire Memorial. The memorial was designed by an award-winning architect and plans are in the works to erect it on the building site as a meaningful tribute.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Salmagundi artist member Debbie Wells is the co-founder/partner of Artful Circle with Franklin Hill Perrell, which provides visits to art galleries and museums, art lectures and curatorial services. For more information, visit www.artfulcircle.com and their on-line publication at www.artfulobserver.com. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design (BFA in Communication Design and MA in Media Studies. Currently, she serves on the board as Immediate Past President of the Art League of Long Island (www.artleagueli.org) after serving as President for three years.