113 University Place is home to the Amalgamated Lithographers of America’s (ALA) headquarters, which also recently hosted the Village Alliance 22nd Annual Meeting. The historic building has been home to the ALA since 1954. Lithography, or “stone writing,” is a method of printing which originated in Germany in the 1798.
The ALA was formed in 1915 after numerous printing related craft unions, including the Stone and Plate Preparers Association and the Union of Litho Workmen, were amalgamated. However, New York lithographers began organizing much earlier. In 1882, a group of craftspeople called the Romar Fishing club, a name chosen to hide the purpose of their meetings, secretly began planning to unionize themselves to protect their craft. From these beginnings, the organization has won many benefit increases and worked to improve the quality of life for its workers.
The Worker's Unite Film Festival was recently held at the union's headquarters, which hosts a variety of community functions in it's beautiful meeting rooms, so keep an eye out for up-coming events.