Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 10 Greatest City-Specific Museums in NYC — #1

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum

11-17 Tenement Museum

At 97 Orchard Street, in a former tenement, this massive tribute to the struggles of many of our ancestors who came through Ellis Island comes to life (sometimes literally, with their interactive dramatic interpretations). The museum is accessible by guided tour only because the building itself is the exhibit – and a fragile one at that. Set up to approximate the conditions of the time in which individual families would have lived there, each room in the tenement focuses on a story. With titles like Hard Times, Sweatshop Workers, Irish Outsiders, and similarly evocative terms, each tour is led by a highly engaging and well educated guide. Their official title is “educator” but they are far, far more than that. This is time travel of the highest order.

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