CASE STUDY // TENEMENT MUSEUM

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Website:  http://www.tenement.org/

Address: 11 East 52nd Street New York, NY 10022

Institution type: Austrian Consulate

Prices:Adults: $25
Students: $20
Seniors (65+): $20
Members: Free

Gallery Hours

10:00 am – 6:30 pm Fri – Wed
10 am – 8:30 pm Thurs

In the Museum public is allowed to take a tour with a tour guide and visit the restored apartments and businesses of past residents and merchants from different time period. Meeting the residents (played by costumed interpreters) who lived at 97 Orchard Street is another way of exploring the museum. In addition to that there is an opportunity to walk the neighborhood and discover the Lower East Side and the way immigrants helped shaped the area and its culture.

Mission:

The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experience 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 enchances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America’s evolving national identity

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My observation of various detais related to preservation: capturing wall layers, preserving the cracks, a piece of string in order to be careful with walls

                                                                                                                                                                 Brief History:

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A historian and social activist, Ruth Abram wanted to build a museum that honored America’s immigrants. New York’s tenements were the perfect place for her museum: these humble, multiple family buildings were the first American homes for thousands of immigrants. But the search for a tenement proved frustrating. By 1988, Abram and co-founder Anita Jacobson were nearly ready to give up. Then they stumbled upon the tenement at 97 Orchard Street.

“It was as though people had just picked up and left”, Jacobson recalled. It was a little time capsule…I called Ruth and said ‘We have got to have this building.’ It was perfect.”

After researching and restoring, The Tenement Museum opened his first apartmentin1992. It was a 1878 home of the German-Jewish Gumpertz family.

Tour Guide:

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David Favaloro supervises the Curatorial Department. Much of what he does involves research, interpretation, and exhibit development in collaboration. He says that their department collect a bit differently than other museums, in that we’re gathering stories linked to the tenements at 97 Orchard and 103 Orchard Street and their former residents, shopkeepers, and owners, as well as the objects associated with those stories. We have a lot of heritage museums in New York City,” David Favaloro, the museum’s director of curatorial affairs said. “But there are very few places where you can go and understand the kinds of common ground, the universality of the immigrant experience. My ancestors were Italian immigrants, and I could come and see what connected that experience with an East European Jewish immigrant who came at the same time. And that would be a way for us as a nation to begin thinking about and talking about what it means to be a nation of immigrants today.”

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Articles:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704506004576174622032371958 Tenement Museum, New Look Reflects Lower East Side’s Evolution

ShopLife_11.30a Side Tenement Museum will debut Shop Life, its first new permanent exhibit since 2008

NYT Arts Beat 1.15.14 103_Tenement_FINAL Tenement Museum plans to expand its immersion into the past with new permanent exhibitions that focus on Chinese immigrants, Jewish Holocaust survivors and Puerto Rican newcomers who came to America after World War II.



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