Thursday, December 1, 2011

210 E. 5th Street , Then & Now

210 E. 5th Street in 1892 (left), and today (right)

For close to half a century, this address hosted one of the city's most important union halls, Beethoven Hall. Between the late 1880s and late 1930s, several prominent organizations held meetings here: From the ILGWU and Federation of Labor, to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Jewish Socialist League of America.

Many high profile union leaders and politicos made rousing speeches here: from Emma Goldman and Johan Most to William Randolph Hearst.

Beethoven Hall played an important role in the Women's Suffrage movement and most citywide strikes of the era, as meetings here helped lead to sweeping changes in labor laws and Women's Rights. It also played a prominent role in the community during the General Slocum and Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire disasters.

Today, 210 E. 5th Street is a quiet residential building.