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Amalgamated Clothing Workers Hall

476 N Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14605, US

Category: Meeting Site

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

Built around 1860, this three-story structure, which had two large assembly halls and a recreation room, was named Germania Hall and provided meeting space to a number of nationality clubs. It was sold in 1905 and converted to an Italian club. On April 10, 1911, it was the site of a gathering in memory of the 146 garment workers killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City two weeks earlier. For a period the building was owned by the Workmen’s Circle (a militant faction of Polish and Russian Jews, socialists and anarchists) and called the Workmen’s Circle and Progressive Library Lyceum. In 1919 the Amalgamated Clothing Workers moved into the building, which they purchased in 1923. In the program for their House Warming Banquet, the union proclaimed: “We Have Progressed: From a handful to a powerful organization. From 56 to 44 hours per week. From starvation wages to a decent standard of living/ From subjects to citizens in the industry. From nothing to a mansion.” The union held classes here for members: in 1940, over 500 signed up for instruction in labor, trade unions, and democracy. When the Congress of Industrial Organizations became active in Rochester, they operated out of Amalgamated Hall. In April of 1946, thousands attended a mass meeting here, sponsored by the AFL, the CIO, and the railroad brotherhoods, to protest the proposed Taft-Hartley “slave labor” Act. When the Amalgamated Clothing Workers’ new union hall opened on East Avenue in 1967, the Clinton Avenue building was donated to the city for a youth recreation center.