Location: 90 Orchard St., New York
Located in our country‘s most renowned immigrant neighborhood, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum interprets historic immigrant experience to illuminate the present. By stimulating dialogue on pressing social issues as a means of promoting humanitarian and democratic values, the Museum has established a new model for the museum and preservation professions. At the center of the Museum‘s programs is its flagship tenement building at 97 Orchard Street. Built in 1863, this structure is the first homestead of urban, working class, poor and immigrant people preserved in the United States.
The Immigration Experience
Most people have their first contact with the Tenement Museum through guided tours of 97 Orchard Street. The Museum has carefully restored apartments to interpret the lives of actual residents from different historical periods. These are the stories of immigrant families who struggled, against all odds, to make their way in America.
Tours convey the impact of economic depressions on the Gumpertz family in the 1870s and the Baldizzis in the 1930s. A visit to the apartments of the Levines (1890s) and the Rogarshevskys (1910s) illustrates the Lower East Side‘s integral connection to the nation‘s garment industry.
An unrestored apartment bears witness to the impact of the 19th century reform movement‘s campaign for improved housing. Walking tours of the Lower East Side describe the neighborhood‘s role as the nation‘s most celebrated gateway for immigrants.