“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Brown Building

Brown Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Erik Lander, April 26, 2012
1. Brown Building Marker
Inscription.  This ten story neo-renaissance loft building, designed by New York architect John Wooley, was built in 1900-01 for Joseph J. Asch. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory occupied the building's top three floors. In 1909, Triangle employees initiated the first large-scale strike of women workers in the country, but workers demands for increased fire safety were not met. On March 25, 1911, a fire swept through the factory, claiming the lives of 146 garment workers. Prompted by the outrage of reformers and labor unions, notably the ILGWU, New York State enacted legislation to safeguard the health and safety of workers. These laws subsequently served as models for national labor and safety reforms. The building facade was largely undamaged by the fire. In 1929 Frederick Brown donated the building to New York University, which named it in his honor, and has used it ever since as an academic building.
Erected 2003 by the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersIndustry & Commerce
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire image. Click for full size.
New York World photograph via Wikipedia Commons, March 25, 1911
2. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Notable BuildingsNotable Events.
Location. 40° 43.785′ N, 73° 59.719′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Greene Street and Washington Place, on the left when traveling north on Greene Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 23 Washington Place, New York NY 10003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Triangle Fire (here, next to this marker); Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (here, next to this marker); John W. Draper and the Founding of the American Chemical Society (within shouting distance of this marker); NYU Native Woodland Garden (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stonecutters Memorial (about 400 feet away); Edward Hopper (about 500 feet away); NYU Community Memorial (about 500 feet away); NYU 9/11 Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Regarding Brown Building. The building is listed in the "AIA (American Institute of Architects) Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition".
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. “Because the owners had locked the doors to the stairwells
The Brown Building image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 13, 2018
3. The Brown Building
aka the Asch Building, aka the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Building. Now use by the New York University Sciences Department. The three markers are at the building corner.
and exits—a then-common practice to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to reduce theft—many of the workers who could not escape from the burning building jumped from the high windows. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.” (Submitted on March 24, 2018.) 

2. The Asch Building and the March 25, 1911 Triangle Waist Company Tragedy. "Daytonian in Manhattan" entry. (Submitted on March 22, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2012, by Erik Lander of Brooklyn, New York. This page has been viewed 543 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on March 22, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos:   1. submitted on April 27, 2012, by Erik Lander of Brooklyn, New York.   2. submitted on March 24, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   3. submitted on October 13, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 13, 2020