The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a five-story tenement building that housed almost 7,000 working class immigrants who came to the country in search of a better life. Functioning from 1863 to 1935, it has housed immigrants from over 20 nations. The building was constructed in 1863 and has long since stopped being just a mere old apartment building but has become one of New York's historical landmarks, owned and operated by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Inc.
The many adversities the immigrants faced in Manhattan's Lower East Side are told in the museum. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum highlights the value of starting a new life with a limited means and working hard for a better future. The lessons learned the hard way by the immigrants are shared affording people a chance to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the role immigrants have in shaping America's evolving culture and identity.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum has punctiliously restored some of the apartments and is still continuing to fully restore the rest through extensive years of research. Various events and activities are hosted and conducted by the museum, including the famous series, "Tenement Talks."
Located in 97 Orchard Street, the museum building was contracted by Prussian-born immigrant Lukas Glockner and has undergone several modifications in order to adapt to the city's changing housing laws. Today, it also houses a visitor center.
Aside from the restored apartments exhibited, visitors are also given a chance to glimpse a broader context of the American history through their public tours. Also found in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a huge collection of historical archives and a number of educational programs for all. Public tours are offered daily.
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