Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Victims Near Me

March 21st, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized

March 25th is the 100 year anniversary of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, where 146 people, mostly young women died. Below are pictures of the sites where three of the victims once lived. I got the addresses from the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, which was started by Ruth Sergel, an ITP grad (where I went to grad school).

Gaetana Midolo. She was 16 years old, and she’d come to the U.S. from Italy when she was 14. She lived at 8 Commerce Street, but #8 was torn down in 1914 to make room to extend 7th Avenue below 11th Street. I haven’t yet found any pre-1914 pictures, but they must exist somewhere.

This is looking west on Commerce Street from 7th Avenue. Although her building was described as a tenement, and there wouldn’t have been as many trees, I think it was probably still considered a decent place to live then.

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Catherine Giannattasio. She was 22, married, and had also immigrated here from Italy when she was 14. This is her former home at 6 Bedford Street. The building was completely shuddered up, but it sold for $2,750,000 last year. Quite a difference from Catherine’s days.

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Here’s a picture from a real estate site, which gives you a better view.

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Michelina Cordiano. She was 25, married, and had immigrated here from Italy at 19. At the time of the fire she was living in this building at 272 Bleecker. It’s a busy corner which I’m guessing was busy then too. This may not have been such a nice neighborhood at the time. When I searched the Times for articles mentioning this building back then, the only ones I found were articles about tenants who’d been arrested for robbery. Update Below.

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I found pictures of 272 Bleecker at the New York Public Library and the Museum of the City of New York!

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old-bleecker

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  1. 6 Responses to “Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Victims Near Me”

  2. By nadine on Mar 21, 2011

    Such a tragic event, thank you for making us take a moment to remember these women.

  3. By Stacy Horn on Mar 21, 2011

    I wish I got HBO, I want to see the Triangle fire documentary they’re airing tonight!

  4. By Jennifer on Mar 21, 2011

    Hi Stacy, there was a Triangle Fire documentary on PBS’ American Experience a few weeks ago…I think it is still available on-line to watch. It really delved into events leading up to the fire, the workers’ attempts to organize and the owners’ response to that.
    (P.S. I have been reading & enjoying your blog for years, ever since I read WFMCTD, which I found in my public library in Bemidji, MN(!!) Thank you from one cat lover to another!)

  5. By Stacy Horn on Mar 22, 2011

    I saw that one, it was great. It bothers me that the owners have disappeared into obscurity and no one has been able to track down what they did for the rest of their lives and how and when they died. They were sited a few years later for doing the same thing, for locking doors to an exit! And still, they weren’t thrown in jail.

    And thank you for the compliment about my blog and my book!

  6. By Citizen Reader on Mar 22, 2011

    Thank you for these posts. I have been fascinated by the Triangle fire for a long time and am continually surprised that it isn’t the subject of more fiction and nonfiction (have you read David Von Drehle’s book on it?). And with the 100th anniversary this year–I thought surely someone would write a screenplay or make a movie about it for release this year, but I haven’t seen anything yet. And it IS disturbing that the owners just got away scot-free. And people wonder (at least they are in Wisconsin this month) why unions are necessary.

  7. By Stacy Horn on Mar 22, 2011

    Exactly!!

    Friday is the anniversary and there will be lost going on which I plan to photograph.

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