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Garment Industry History Initiative

Past Forums

From The Triangle To The Tiger: New York’s Garment Center in American Popular Culture, 1920-1970

March 19, 2009, 6:30 – Recital Hall

Warren Shaw gives an original, 50-minute illustrated talk about the Garment District and popular culture. This discussion of the Garment Center examines the years circa 1920s through the 1970s and covers plays, movies, novels, books, and foodways related to the famous neighborhood. Click here to launch streaming video


Listen to the audio or download the MP3 file

From Rags to Riches: An Evening of Stories from Garment Industry Manufacturers

April 9th, 2008, 6:30 – Recital Hall

Join historians Richard Greenwald, Drew University, and Suzanne Wasserman, Director, The Gotham Center/CUNY, as they interview veterans of the garment industry. This evening will focus on the Jewish manufacturers who worked and still work in every aspect of the industry, starting in 1945 from manufacturing custom-made doormen uniforms to marketing the first pair of women’s blue jeans. Please join our special guests including: Stuart and Jennifer Busch, Owners, I. Buss and Allan Uniforms; Gloria Gelfand, President, Gelfand Marketing Solutions; Richard Schwartz, ex-Chairman, NYSCA; Sarah Crean, Former Director, Garment Industry Development Corporation; and others.

Building Capitol: The Vernacular Architecture of the Garment District

October 9th, 2007, 6:30 – Recital Hall

The Garment District is one of the most famous neighborhoods of New York City. This is an area well known to labor historians, but virtually unknown to historians of the city’s built environment. Andrew Dolkart, the James Marston Fitch Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and author of the award-winning Morningside Heights: A History of its Architecture and Development, will give an illustrated lecture on the vernacular architecture of the Garment District, examining the forces that resultedin the extraordinary rapidity of development of showrooms, factories, and lofts.