Tenement Museum

Orchard_Street_Manhattan_IMG_9186Located in the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum of New York is a National Historic Site, first built in 1863. Here you will see a culturally significant historic home of gorgeous Italianate architecture, once home to over 7,000 working class immigrants trying to make a living in the New World. These men and women worked hard for a new life and provide for their families with limited means, but did so within one of America’s most iconic neighborhoods, making this spot a truly iconic historical gem of Manhattan.

The Tenement Museum has worked hard to "re-imagine the role museums can play in one’s life" since its creation by Ruth Abram, a well-known historian, social activist, and founder of this museum. She and the museum work to preserve and interpret the history of immigration "through the personal experience of a generation of newcomers in regards to America’s evolving national identity."

While here you will get an architectural rundown, lesson, and tour of the building itself, as well as learn many interesting personal stories and historic details about who once called this place home. Choose between tour options like the Guided Tenement Tours, giving views of the place during the 19th and 20th centuries as well as insights into current immigration-related debates. The Neighborhood Walking Tours, or the Teaching Immigrant Experience, in which over 44,000 students have been involved, are also wonderful options. There are also occasional Tenement Talks which include free readings, discussions, and performances about New York’s history, people, religion, and culture. Be sure to save some time after your tour and visit to see the extensive Museum Shop on site, full of educational and entertaining books, media, gifts, and souvenirs!