Lower East Side Tenement Museum
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Lower East Side Tenement Museum information
This museum puts the neighborhood’s heartbreaking but inspiring heritage on full display in three re-creations of turn-of-the-20th-century tenements. Re-creations include the late-19th-century home and garment shop of the Levine family from Poland, and two immigrant dwellings from the Great Depressions of 1873 and 1929. Visits to the tenements and other sites of interest are available only as part of scheduled tours (the price of which is included in the admission), with many daily departures.
In addition to the 'Hard Times' tour that visits the three tenements, the museum also runs various other tours: 'Sweatshop Workers' illuminates life among garment workers and the balance between the job, family life and religion. 'Irish Outsiders' visits the restored home of Irish immigrants who dealt with the death of a child in the 1800s. You can have a more interactive experience by meeting 'Victoria Confino', which gives a first-hand glimpse of life in a tenement as related by a 14-year-old Italian immigrant (played by a costumed interpreter, of course). It's the only tour appropriate for children (age five and up). There are also neighborhood walking tours, food-focused tours, and special evening tours on Thursday nights.
The visitor center shows a video detailing the difficult life endured by the people who once lived in the surrounding buildings, which more often than not had no running water or electricity. Reserve tickets ahead online; popular tours sell out in advance.