Opened in 1988, the Tenement Museum interprets America's 19th- and early 20th-century immigrants through the preservation of an original tenement structure. Built in 1863, 97 Orchard Street is typical of the first wave of tenements erected in New York to house a growing immigrant population. Each apartment has been designed to capture a moment in the life of an immigrant family who actually resided here. One apartment, for instance, focuses on a German Jewish family who lived here in the 1870s. Another looks in on an Italian Catholic family around 1934. Some 7,000 people from more than 20 nations (largely from Europe) have called 97 Orchard Street home. A variety of building tours are offered, exploring the way various immigrant groups, from Dutch and African settlers to the newest arrivals, have shaped the Lower East Side. Two neighborhood walking tours take visitors past places of cultural and historic importance to immigrants past and present.
The Confino Famly Living History Program is recommended for ages 5 and up; our other programs are recommended for ages 8 and up, with the exception of the Immigrant Soles Walking Tour (ages 10 and up) and The Moores: An Irish Family in America (ages 12 and up).
We may be able to accomodate larger groups; please call the scheduling hotline for more details. Large groups will be split among multiple programs and must usually opt for the neighborhood walking tour as well.
The Museum also offers a distance learning program, featuring the Confino Family Living History program. Visit the Museum's profile on the Center For Interactive Learning and Collaboration's website, http://www.cilc.org, to learn more.