Brown Building

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

23-29 Washington Place

ARCHITECT: John Woolley

DATE: 1900-11

STYLE: Neo-Renaissance

East Village Manhattan Neo-Renaissance

Designated 3/25/2003

The Brown Building (originally Asch Building), a loft building constructed for Joseph J. Asch in 1900-01 which housed the Triangle shirtwaist factory on its top three stories, is significant for women’s and labor history as the site of the Shirtwaistmaker’s Strike of 1909, the first large-scale strike of women workers in the country, and the Triangle Fire of 1911, one of the worst industrial disasters in American history.

On March 25, 1911, when a fire erupted on the eighth floor of the Triangle factory and spread to the floors above, locked doors and inadequate fire escapes contributed to the deaths of 146 workers, many of whom leapt to their deaths. This tragedy stunned the nation and became a catalyst for a broad range of reforms.

Over the next few years, New York City and New York State adopted a battery of new laws to protect the public from fires and ensure the health and safety of workers. The new laws were the most advanced and comprehensive in the country and served as models for other state and local ordinances and for the federal labor legislation of the New Deal era. After the fire, the building’s neo-Renaissance facade remained largely intact.

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance

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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

Local Voices

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Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension

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“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”

Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society

Local Voices

"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."

Elena Martinez
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director

Local Voices

"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."

Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,