The Lower East Side Tenement Museum shows visitors what life was like for immigrant families during different time periods in New York City. The Museum has restored apartments from previous residents of 97 Orchard Street to reflect how immigrants survived in trying conditions.
About the Tenement Museum
The Museum is housed in 97 Orchard Street and tells the stories of those who have lived there. Built on the Lower East Side in 1863, the tenement apartment building was home to almost 7000 of the city’s working class immigrants. Over the last 20 years the Tenement Museum has restored and preserved six apartments. They are growing, and in 2007 the museum purchased 103 Orchard Street which has become the flagship building for the Visitors Center, exhibitions and classrooms.
Visiting the Tenement Museum
There are three ways in which visitors can experience the Tenement Museum, including:
- Tour 97 Orchard Street and visit the restored apartments and businesses of past residents and merchants from different time periods.
- Meet the residents of 97 Orchard Street, played by costumed interpreters.
- Walk the neighborhood and discover how immigrants helped to shape the Lower East Side and its culture.
Tours begin and end at 103 Orchard Street. Please note that the museum can only be visited via a guided tour. Some of the guided tours that are available are:
- Shop Life – learn about the shops that filled the lower level of 97 Orchard for over 100 years including an 1870s German saloon, a turn of the century kosher butcher, a 1930s auctioneer, and a 1970s undergarment discounter.
- Sweatshop Workers – visit the Levine family’s garment workshop and the Sabbath table of the Rogarshevsky’s during the turn of the century.
- Hard Times – learn how immigrants survived depressions between 1863 and 1935.
- Irish Outsiders – experience the music of Irish America and tour the restored home of the Irish-Catholic Moore family.
- Victoria Confino – visit the apartment of a Greek Sephardic family and meet a costumed interpreter playing 14 year old Victoria Confino, who lived here in 1916.
- Foods of the Lower East Side – taste the various treats and foods that shaped the immigrant experience including dumplings, fried plantains, and cream puffs.
- Outside the Home – explore the Lower East Side through the eyes of the immigrants who lived here.
- Then and Now – discover the fascinating history of the neighborhood and find out why it’s an ever-changing mix of old and new.
Tour times and ticket prices for guided tours vary, please check the website for more information. The Visitors Center and Museum Shop are open 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
The Visitors Center is located on the corner of Delancey Street. Tours begin and end here and it is where tickets are sold. For detailed instructions on how to get to the Tenement Museum via public transportation or car, please visit the website. More information can also be found online or by calling 212-982-8420.