It was 102 years ago this week that a fire broke out in the cutting room of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. When the fire department responded to the blaze, which soon spread to the “fireproof” building’s eighth, ninth, and tenth floors, the ladders and hoses didn’t reach past the sixth floor. Some 146 workers perished in less than 20 minutes. The tragedy, which played a pivotal role in the movement to enact worker safety laws, is getting a permanent memorial, but what form should it take? (We’re thinking three sides?) The group spearheading the initiative is now seeking ideas with an international design competition.
“We need something that can’t be ignored,” says Mary Anne A. Trasciatti, executive director of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. “That compels passersby to take notice, stop, and reflect. That will make them work for a better world where something like the Triangle Fire never happens again.” To enter, simply sketch out your idea for the memorial on a 24” x 36” sheet and submit it online (register here by April 5 and upload your entry by April 12). A jury that includes Daniel Libeskind and Deborah Berke will select a shortlist of ten entries to further develop their designs and later reconvene to make a final selection of the top three prizewinners and honorable mentions.