New York, NY, February 04, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Heath Ledger's "death site" has been newly added to the Rich & Famous "downtown" New York tour in addition to Madison Avenue's historic Campbell Funeral Home where Ledger's body was prepared for burial and shipped home to Australia. Other dead notables who were prepared by Campbell's include Garland, Valentino, Aaliyah, Jackie O. and more too numerous to mention. Recently Rich & Famous Tours added the death location of a real estate broker-to-the-stars who was bludgeoned to death on Halloween in her penthouse at 965 Fifth Avenue.
The Ledger death location, a SoHo Loft at 421 Broome St., is where the Brokeback Mountain star was found dead in his bed two weeks ago at the age of 28, surrounded by an assortment of drugs. Suddenly, outside the front door, an "instant memorial" of cheap candles, flowers, pictures of the star, etc. "sprang up" on the steps of the 1870's cast iron structure, now turned into plush SoHo rental lofts. Ledger alledgedy paid $28,000 per month for his 4th floor spread in the former 19th century drygoods building.
New York's SoHo neighborhood has over 100 cast iron facade buildings, dating back to the early industrial age...they were truly the first "pre-fab" buildings in America, although the cast iron style came from England. Cast iron is hot melted pig iron, bubbling in the foundry, which was combined at the right temperature with carbon, creating a molten iron substance that had the consistency of chocolate. The iron was then poured into pre-formed molds. When the pieces were cooled and solid, the sections were bolted together, primed and painted, and formed the facade of mostly wood-framed buildings (with brick in back and on the sides usually). The buildings were thought to be largely fire-proof, but of course the wood frames and floors could burn and often did. Firemen of the 1800's referred to the 100 - acre district of cast iron stores and factories as "Hell's Hundred Acres" because of the frequent factory blazes. Not too far north (near Washington Square) stood the (in)famous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a dressmaking factory that had an enormous fire in 1911 which killed 146 workers and was the reason for the beginning of the International Ladies Garment Worker's Union. This was a tragedy worth crying over: 146 young, mostly immigrant women who had yet to begin their lives, killed in a competely preventable tragedy.