Tenement Museum: Tours and Exhibits

The Tenement Museum is a unique place to explore the history of New York. So if you’re a history buff, you should definitely consider exploring its tours and activities.

About the Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum honors the timeless narratives that enhance and clarify what it takes to be an American. Through engaging guided tours, educational material, activities, and thought leadership, they tell tales of the migrant and immigrant experience to advance knowledge of immigration and emphasize its significance in the continuous formation of the country.

Millions of individuals have migrated to and across the United States across history and till the modern day in search of the “American Dream.” Although it might be simple to draw distinctions between “us” and “them,” a more profound examination shows how these newest residents embody the human spirit of the country’s aspirations. The realization that follows is that it is irrelevant why they arrived; what counts is that they did.

Tenement Museum Apartment Tours

Tours of tenement apartments look at historically accurate reproductions of the dwellings and the immigrant and migrant families that lived there throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. On a journey to a New York tenement apartment, get a peek at the past while learning from knowledgeable educators who provide historical views relevant to the present immigration debates.

Tenement apartment tours are open to children aged five and older. Attendance at virtual activities and programs and neighborhood walking tours is advised for kids under 5.

NYC Walking Tours of Neighborhoods

Visitors and residents alike may explore the city by taking one of the Tenement Museum’s walking tour tours of New York City’s Lower East Side. On brisk walking excursions of the illustrious Lower East Side neighborhood, discover the often overlooked locations, uncharted territories, and the numerous histories of migration throughout the ages. Explore historical sites to find the people and areas that helped shape New York City into what it is today.

Virtual Events

The Tenement Museum offers virtual field tours that engage students in the past using 360-degree photographs, film, and sources. Students learn about history via the experiences of actual people while on the virtual visit, and they discover how their own experiences are a component of history. Various programs are built based on migration and immigration, and museum educators weave the concepts of cultural adaptation, community building, and belonging together in programming to provide entrance points for children of all experiences and identities.

A museum educator leads programs tailored for students in grades 1st through 12th over Zoom for an engaging, inquiry-based program adaptable to any teaching style. The multi-state Social Studies Scope and Sequence, C3 framework, and National Education Standards are all linked with every virtual field trip at the Tenement Museum.

Reservations for a Group

You may utilize the Tenement Museum to host a personal in-person or online experience! With the use of movies, old photos, and oral histories, the visitors will be taken on a tour of the recreated areas of our ancient tenement buildings and the lives of the individuals who lived there while interacting with educators and experts.

Invite your friends to the Tenement Museum together! You may discover all the necessary information for making in-person and online group tour bookings here, whether you’re arranging a trip with your senior club, family, class, or business organization.

Group reservations may be made between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm. Early bookings are advised since daytime slots fill up fast. Book at least two weeks in advance for groups.

School Group

Knowledgeable Educators guide students via interactive virtual or in-person tours of renovated tenement buildings and the Lower East Side area to engage in storytelling, activities, and dialogue that relate their experiences to the past. 

Private Groups

Knowledgeable Educators guide students via interactive virtual or in-person tours of renovated tenement buildings and the Lower East Side area to engage in storytelling, activities, and dialogue that relate their experiences to the past. 

Take a private online or in-person tour of our reconstructed tenement flats to learn more about the surrounding area. Discover the Lower East Side of New York City to learn about forgotten locations, uncharted areas, and the many migratory histories that span centuries.

Explore the Museum

The Tenement Museum chronicles the distinctly American tales of refugees, travelers, and immigrants who contributed to the continuing formation of our country. The Museum uses real-life accounts of common families. They resided in two ancient tenement houses at 97 and 103 Orchard and the residents of the Lower East Side area to examine architecture, identity, urban development, public policy, and other subjects, both past and present.

Investigate the tales that form the Tenement Museum’s core. You will get completely engrossed in the tales that give the Museum its character, whether it is via behind-the-scenes articles, digital exhibitions, or their award-winning podcast.

Tenement Museum’s Black History Exhibit

An 1869 city directory caught the attention of a museum educator in 2008, soon after the debut of an apartment detailing the life of Irish immigrant waiter Joseph Moore in the 19th century. Another Joseph Moore, also a waiter who lived in nearby communities, was listed just above Moore’s name.

Same name and the same line of work. However, there was a further classification: Colored or “Col’d.” 

The instructor began encouraging attendees to reflect on the two Joseph Moores. What aspects of their life would have been the same or different? As more educators became aware of the incident, a discussion over how to discuss “the other Joseph Moore” and the Museum’s larger omissions.

An excerpt from a directory from 1869 reveals two Joseph Moores, both servers, with one of them listed as “Col’d” or “Colored.”

Currently, the Museum is putting a lot of emphasis on the tale of the Black Joseph Moore as it approaches its reopening on June 12 with a block celebration. It is researching a reconstruction of an apartment for him and his wife, Rachel—the first one for a Black family. Additionally, the Lower East Side is getting a new neighborhood walking tour named “Reclaiming Black Spaces,” which examines locations tied to almost 400 years of African-American history there.

To examine more directly how racism and race affected the chances available to the primarily white immigrants whose hardship and desires are discussed there, the Museum is also rewriting all of its apartment tours.

So there you have it! We hope you enjoy your visit to the Tenement Museum!

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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