Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Tour

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: Through the eyes of those that were there.

Legends of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Tour
Meet at Washington Square Arch, Manhattan

One of the most tragic events in New York history, and a disaster that prompted changes in the manufacturing industry, workers rights, and firefighting practices, is the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of March 25, 1911. Now on the 107th anniversary of the fire, this tour will visit the site and follow in the footsteps to visit the homes of victims and the firehouses that fought the fire.

See one of the most historic neighborhoods of Manhattan. You will see:

* Location of the disaster, the landmark Brown Building;
* See where some of the tragic victims lived;
* See two FDNY firehouses, city landmarks, and stunning architecture;
* Learn about the history of the garment trade and fire department, city architecture and development, all tied into the era of the disaster. See more than a dozen locations tied to the fire, as well as see scores of local landmarks, architectural gems, and historic sites.

This walking tour will talk about the Needle Trade and the factors behind the fire. In 1909 more worked in Manhattan factories than in all of Massachusetts. There were 500 blouse factories in the city; employing up to 40,000 garment workers. All of the buildings in the area were garment factories built 1890-1916.

Triangle owners Max Blanck and Isaac Harris were the Shirtwaist Kings. They had multiple factories in New York and New jersey. They were shipping 2,000 per day, $1 million per year, about $26 million today. Waists were $3 each; about $78 today. In 1901 the Asch Building had 90,000 square feet of space, or 9,000 of usable space per floor. Triangle opened the following year on one floor. The entire blaze, from spark to embers, was 30 minutes. 146 died, of that 23 were men.

The tour is led by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, author of seven books tied to New York City history, including World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War, and The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide. He is a licensed New York City Sightseeing Guide and a partner in Firetruck Tours New York.

The walk is approximately 1.5 miles. It is wheelchair accessible. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. The walk will be held rain or shine. After the tour we will end in the Village at a famous saloon, to continue the conversation.

Meet at Washington Square Arch.

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