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Tenement Museum Announces $8 Million Expansion

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LES Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St.
LES Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum has announced an expansion of its exhibition program.  New permanent installations will be added to tell the stories of Chinese immigrants, Jewish holocaust survivors and Puerto Rican immigrants who came to the Lower East Side in the years following World War II.

The museum currently showcases the stories of German, Italian, Eastern European and Irish immigrants from a tenement located at 97 Orchard St.  The new exhibits will be created on the upper floors of 103 Orchard, the same building where the gift shop is situated.  A press release stated:

These new exhibits will significantly expand the Museum’s capacity as well as its scope.  (They) are in the early planning stages; an opening date has not yet been set…  The new exhibits will combine technology and immersive environments to build on this work, inviting visitors to explore re-created homes of past residents in an historic tenement at 103 Orchard Street.

More details from Crain’s:

The museum, currently located at 97 Orchard St., expects construction for the 10,000-square-foot expansion at 103 Orchard St., two doors from its current location, to begin in 2016. The expansion will cost approximately $8 million… The museum currently has $3 million from the city of New York and private investors, and is in the midst of a campaign to raise the rest.

Legislation is now working its way through Congress to recognize the expansion. Since 1998, the museum has been an affiliated site of the National Park Service.



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  1. so it will occupy the upper floors? the same upper floors which until now housed residents? possibly residents related to those immigrants the museum celebrates???
    please clarify …………..

  2. That’s fine and all, but someone should tell them to make sure their tour guides keep their groups from blocking the entire sidewalk when they do their thing. Some people actually live and work here and huge crowds blocking active thoroughfares does not help us out.

  3. Looking forward with great anticipation to the planned expansion, which will broaden the scope of the Tenement Museum to embrace new views of the immigrant experience on the Lower East Side.

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