NYC - The Official Guide

Triangle Waist Company Shirtwaist Factory Fire Centennial Events

Mallory Passuite

One hundred years after the harrowing fire took the lives of 146 young, mostly female, immigrant workers on March 25, 1911, effecting changes in women’s rights, building codes and labor reform, New York City pays homage with a range of commemoration events that includes book readings, film screenings, tours, lectures, theater performances and the Worker’s United Official Commemoration. To learn more about the historic fire—NYC’s largest workplace disaster before 9/11—visit the Triangle Waist Company shirtwaist factory fire centennial slide in our Must-See March slideshow.

March 22
Tenement Talks: Fire Escape
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard St., 212-982-8420
America-in-Play premieres its latest work, Fire Escape, at the Tenement Museum to recount the tragic tale of the Triangle factory fire. The theater company, now in its fifth season, was founded to use forgotten plays of the 19th and early 20th centuries as inspiration for modern theater. The show is free and begins at 6:30pm. RSVP recommended.

March 23
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard St., 212-982-8420
For the Tenement Museum’s second day of remembrance events, author of the powerful account, Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, David Von Drehle will discuss how the fire changed American labor conditions. The discussion is free, but space is limited and those who preorder a signed copy receive guaranteed seating. 6:30pm

March 23–24
Women Movers and Shakers Tour: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The Lower East Side History Project offers a special, two-time-only tour of the LES, the birthplace of the Women’s Suffrage movement, Planned Parenthood and International Ladies Garment Workers Union, among other feats. The walking tour will last approximately two hours, covering 15 blocks. Each tour begins at noon and costs $20 per person. RSVP for meeting location.

March 23–27
From the Fire
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Sq. South, 212-477-0351
From the Fire dramatizes the Triangle fire’s history, blocks from where it happened 100 years ago. The dramatic oratorio was created by a team that includes Tony-nominated composer Elizabeth Swados and is sponsored by the Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. Performances are March 23–26 at 7:30pm; March 27 at 6pm. For reservations, call 212-229-5488.

March 24
Out of the Smoke and the Flame: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its Legacy
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., 212-642-2029
A musical performance of From the Fire, lectures on labor, panel discussions that include professors from some of the country’s top universities and board members of international labor organizations and a book signing of The New York City Triangle Factory Fire. Registration is free for the events, which begin at 9am and last through 8:30pm. Visit for a full schedule.

March 25
Workers United Official Commemoration
Washington Place and Greene St.
The annual Workers United Commemoration, held outside the former home of Triangle Waist Company, begins at 11am with music and a memorial procession, and continues with a selection of speakers, including US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, at noon. Finally, flowers are laid as school children, family members of those who passed in the fire and retired garment workers read the names of the victims aloud. The Centennial marks the first time the name of every victim will be read, as the few remaining unidentified bodies were positively identified this year.

Now through March 26 and April 12–July 9
Art/Memory/Place: Commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
NYU Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Sq. East, 212-998-6780
This NYU memorial exhibition traces the tragedy’s history from the (unsuccessful) ladies’ garment workers strike of 1909, two years before the fire, to the press coverage the day of the fire, to the fire’s legacy with the rise of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in the New Deal Era, 50th anniversary events from 1961 and modern-day memorializations. The gallery has a $3 suggested admission fee.

March 27
Triangle Fire Tribute–100th Anniversary Event
Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., 212-219-0888
The Museum at Eldridge Street offers an afternoon of music and poetry, with 146 participants to portray the victims. Yiddishist Caraid O’Brien will read from original works of the Sweatshop Poets, who wrote of the deplorable working conditions in factories of the 1900s, in Yiddish and English. The concert begins at 3pm and tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students.
March 27
Triangle Fire: A Documentary Screening with Filmmaker Jamila Wignot
Women’s eNews HQ, 6 Barclay St., 212-244-1720
The new PBS documentary Triangle Fire follows the conditions leading up to the infamous fire and its lasting impact on the nation, from labor reform to women’s suffrage. The film’s director/producer, Jamila Wignot, will introduce the documentary before the screening. RSVP at

March 28
A Day to Remember and Reflect: 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
St. Johns Staten Island Campus, 300 Howard Ave., 718-390-4455
St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus hosts a special lecture with Dr. Richard Greenwald, author of The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace and Industrial Democracy: In Progressive Era New York (Labor in Crisis), and League of Women Voters of the City of New York Director Sheila Hosni, followed by a candle light vigil with a live, original music performance by university students. The discussion begins at 1:30pm.

Through May 19
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: One Hundred Years After
NYU Open House, 528 LaGuardia Place, 212-998-2630
NYU’s Open House Space remembers the Centennial with a powerful collection of historical photos, artifacts and film clips, and an exploration of its effects on labor, all displayed but a few blocks from where the fire originally took place.



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