But, later this year, following years of concerted effort by the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, a memorial to the victims and survivors of the fire will be installed on the building’s brick and terra-cotta facade.
The monument, designed by architects Richard Joon Yoo and Uri Wegman, will consist of a stainless steel ribbon with a textured fabric pattern descending from the ninth floor along the building’s corner.
At the top of the Brown Building’s first floor, the ribbon will divide and run 12 feet above the sidewalk, along which the names of the 146 fire victims’ names will be etched horizontally and reflected onto a darkened reflective panel at street level.
Recollections and testimonials from survivors and witnesses will be inscribed along the lower edge of the panel.
The memorial, projected to cost just under $3 million, including a maintenance fund, was slated to be dedicated March 25, on the fire’s anniversary. But a host of issues has delayed its installation, including a construction slowdown caused by the pandemic but also structural issues that called for a different method of securing the steel ribbon onto the building’s facade. That new approach, in turn, required the coalition to raise an additional nearly $1 million.
Plans for the memorial, as well as amended designs, also had to go through approval processes at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Contracts, fundraising and engineering particulars consumed many hours of planning.
And before fabrication could begin, the planners had mounds of fact-checking to complete, mostly to ensure correct spellings and birth dates. Some of that entailed traveling, with other aspects demanding close collaboration with scholars and genealogists. “We did due diligence. We tried to respect the wishes of family and we tried to correct obvious errors,” the coalition’s president, Mary Anne Trasciatti, said.
Remarkably for a city whose elected officials often proclaim New York City to be a union town, the memorial will be the city’s first dedicated to labor.
Huh, that’s an interesting point too. There…probably should be more labor monuments there!