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A Landmark Building, A Groundbreaking Museum
We tell the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants.

They faced challenges we understand today: making a new life, working for a better future, starting a family with limited means.

In recognizing the importance of this seemingly ordinary building, the Tenement Museum has re-imagined the role that museums can play in our lives.

About: LES - history

Our Mission

The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan's Lower East Side, America's iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America's evolving national identity.

Our StoryThe Tenement Museum began as an idea
Our Work
Tenement Tours
Inside 97 Orchard, visitors take guided tours of apartments that recreate immigrant life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Along with a glimpse of the past, tours offer insights into current debates about immigration and public health.

Visitors go beyond the walls of 97 Orchard Street to explore the neighborhood and continue the immigrant story. In combination with tenement tours, walking tours explore how life was for immigrants on the Lower East Side and how the neighborhood changed.

Teaching Immigrant Experiences
Each year, 44,000 students visit the Museum to learn about immigration and New York City. We also run ESOL workshops that use tenement history to teach English to today's immigrants.

Tenement Talks
Join us for Tenement Talks: free readings, discussions, performances and screenings about New York's history, people and culture. Tenement Talks are hosted at the Museum Shop (103 Orchard).

Awards and Affiliations
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • The Tenement Museum is an accredited site of the American Association of Museums
  • The Tenement Museum is an affiliated site of the National Park Service
  • IMLS National Merit Award