Lower East Side Museum | New York Attractions
The New York Building that stands at 97 Orchard Street was originally contracted by Lukas Glockner, a Prussian-born immigrant who began the building project in 1863 and then modified its plans several times to conform to New York City Housing laws. At the time of its construction, the New York City Building contained a saloon in the basement and 22 apartments.
Over a period of time, 4 stoop-level apartments were converted into retail space, along with 2 basement apartments. Further modifications included the installation of cold running water, 2 toilets on each floor, an airshaft, and gas that was followed by electricity.
The New York Building’s landlord refused to make continual improvements, and elected to evict the residents instead. Upper windows and floors were boarded and sealed, and only the storefronts remained open for business. In 1988, the building became the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and stands now as a time capsule so to speak, reflecting the living conditions for immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century, and an idea of what acceptable housing was at the time.
Some parts of the building remain unstable to this day, and are closed to the public. The New York City tenement was designated a National Historic Landmark in April of 1994, and is now owned and operated by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
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Lower East Side Tenement Museum Tours: Open daily for tenement tours and neighborhood walking tours.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum Contact Info: 212-982-8420
At The Lower East Side Museum, you’ll explore a 5-story brick tenement that housed an estimated 7,000 people between 1863 and 1935. Tenants representing more than 20 nations called this New York Building home, which sits at 97 Orchard Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York.
The Lower East Side Museum is a National Historic site, and includes a New York Visitor’s Center just a few steps away. The Lower East Side Museum is an NYC Museum and New York Attraction that promotes tolerance and gives a historical perspective on the experience of immigrating to New York City.
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