Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Learn the real stories of American immigrants from the 1860s and onward as you tour recreated apartments in a historic Manhattan tenement building.

Explore an authentic piece of New York City’s history at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Learn about the lives of early American immigrants through the museum’s painstakingly recreated living spaces and its many walking tours.

Check out the centerpiece of the museum, its historic tenement. From the street, the five-story brick building may look like many other historic buildings in the area. However, between 1863 and 1935, it was home to an estimated 7,000 people who hailed from over 20 countries. Immerse yourself in the immigrant experience as you tour the tenement’s cramped living quarters and learn about the lives of its past inhabitants.

Start your visit to the Tenement Museum at the Visitor Center and Museum Shop, a separate building on the street, where you purchase tickets and begin your tours. The Tenement Museum is open only by guided tour and has three ways to visit. Explore the tenement through the ages, meet the building’s residents played by costumed interpreters or join a walking tour to discover the Lower East Side’s rich immigrant history. Set aside 1 to 2 hours for a tour. For the most complete experience, combine a walking tour and a tenement tour.

Choose from a variety of available tenement tours. Learn about the stores run by immigrant families chasing the American Dream. Dive into the lives of sweatshop workers at the turn of the 20th century, when the Lower East Side was one of the world’s most densely populated locations. Find out how immigrants struggled through the Great Depression. Understand the challenges facing an Irish immigrant family struggling with prejudice in the 1860s.

Stop at the Museum Shop to get a themed book or gift from your visit. Attend a Tenement Talk, a regular series of complimentary performances and readings.

Find the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. The Visitor Center and Museum Shop is in the same building with an entrance down the street. Purchase tickets in advance, as tours typically sell out, particularly during weekends.


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