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Brown Building 1885

by John Woolley

The Brown Building now houses NYU’s science laboratories, but it has a horrific past. Once in the garment district, the Brown Building housed the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The factory marked the first strike of women workers, which took place in 1910, just one year before the fire which killed 146 workers. Most of the workers were European immigrants, women and teenage girls, who were paid only fifteen dollars a week and worked twelve hours a day. The fire had lasting consequences. Many laws were passed including those for worker’s safety, child labor reform, minimum wage, and fire protection laws.



1901 Asch Building constructed
1911 Fire breaks out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killing 146 people
1929 Frederick Brown purchases building and donates it to NYU
1991 Added to National Register of Historic Places and named a National Historical Landmark
2003 Designated a New York City Landmark

Reference Links

wiki Brown Building (Manhattan)
wiki Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
article Triangle Fire: The Building Survives
internal gDoc