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Lower East Side Tenement Museum

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Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Brief:

Located on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum offers tours to visitors and the opportunity to see a New York City tenement building first-hand. Visits to the tenement building are available only with a guided tour, which share the stories of actual families that lived in the 97 Orchard Street building.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum Basics:

  • Visitors Center Location:
    103 Orchard Street (Map)
  • Nearest Subways: B/D to Grand Street; F to Delancey Street; J/M/Z to Essex Street
  • Phone: 1-877-97-LESTM (1-877-975-3786)
  • Website: www.tenement.org
  • Ticket Prices:
    • Adults: $22
    • Students/Seniors: $17
    • Members: Free
  • Hours: The Visitors Center is open daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (See the complete tour schedule for actual tour times.)

Lower East Side Tenement Museum Ticketing:

  • Purchasing advance tickets is highly recommended (Online ticketing).
  • Tickets can be purchased for same-day tours at the Visitors Center, saving the $2.50 convenience charge, but there is no guarantee tickets will be available.
  • American Sign Language Interpreted tours are periodically available.

Good to Know About the Lower East Side Tenement Museum:

  • Access to the Museum's tenement is only available through their 1-hour guided tours. All tours begin at the Visitors Center at 103 Orchard Street.
  • Tenement tours require walking up stairs. Check out details for each tour which list how many steps the tour requires.
  • No food or drink is allowed on tours, except water.
  • I recommend bringing water on hot days, it can be very hot (no central a/c), but this adds to the authenticity of the tenement experience.
  • No photos are allowed inside the tenement.
  • The Visitors Center (108 Orchard Street) offers a great opportunity to purchase unique souvenirs.

Taking Your Kids?:

  • All tours are open to children ages 8 and up, except "Irish Outsiders" and "Exploring 97 Orchard Street" which is open to children 12 and up.
  • "Meet Victoria Confino" is geared specifically toward children and families and is appropriate for children ages 5 and up.

About the Lower East Side Tenement Museum:

Generations of new immigrants have made the Lower East Side their homes -- and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum enables visitors to get a closer look into their lives and homes. Located at 97 Orchard Street, the Museum's tenement building housed more than 7,000 people from 20 different countries between 1863 and 1935. The five story building has 20 individual apartments, and the Museum has painstakingly researched and recreated the apartments of four different families who once lived in the building (they are currently working on a fifth apartment).

A visit to the Museum offers the unique opportunity to see how new immigrants really lived -- while today's New Yorkers are apt to complain about crowded apartments, the 375 square foot apartments often housed whole families, and sometimes were also used for operating businesses. From coin operated gas meters for heating water to eggs set out for Shiva, the beauty of the Museum is in their intense attention to details. Friendly, knowledgeable tour guides not only share the stories of the immigrant families who lived at 97 Orchard Street, they also help visitors connect to the experience by asking them to share their own interests and family history.

The Museum offers several different tenement building tours, as well as neighborhood walking tours, with options that are appropriate for families, as well as others that are accessible for visitors in wheelchairs. Read more about the Tenement Museum's tours.

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