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Tenement Museum

6,553 Reviews

Tenement Museum

6,553 Reviews
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103 Orchard St Lower East Side, New York City, NY 10002-3102
Getting there
Delancey StNew York City Subway2 min
Essex StNew York City Subway3 min
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FoodLoverFromNanaimo wrote a review 4 Jan
Nanaimo, Canada6 contributions4 helpful votes
I have visited the Tenement Museum every time I've been in New York - and recommend it to friends that go to NYC. Its a FABULOUS place and offers rich experiences. I was given a membership for Christmas -- and have already attended two "virtual tours". Both were GREAT TOURS! (The Baldizzi Family and Meet Victoria Confino). As I live in Canada on the west coast, the virtual tours enable me to "visit" the Museum from home! "Meet Victoria Confino" was particularly engaging, as Victoria is portrayed by a very talented actress/historian at the age of 14, and the participants are able to ask her questions. She was able to give very thorough answers in a very interesting and personal way. I highly recommend the Tenement Museum and the virtual tours.
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Date of experience: December 2020
Irish_Lights_Up wrote a review Sep 2020
Dublin, Ireland105 contributions77 helpful votes
This is one of the best tours I’ve ever taken. The guide’s level of knowledge is stunning and her delivery was excellent. We did the Hard Times tour but would love to do some of the other ones in future.
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Date of experience: February 2020
3 Helpful votes
Jeffry b wrote a review Jul 2020
Essendon, Australia6,500 contributions1,833 helpful votes
The Tenement Museum is on the Lower East Side of Manhattan Island, where many immigrants began their American journey. It had tenants from 1863 to 2011, though the Museum dates from 1888, and it was offically established in 1992. The Tenement Museum is now a National Historic Site. The Lower East Side is rapidly gentrifying, Many prosperous people will look back to Orchard St and Hester Street with some natalgia. I was somewhat dubious at first, but the Tenement Museum is well worth inspecting. America is indeed a great big melting pot.
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Date of experience: March 2020
2 Helpful votes
skyisblu wrote a review Apr 2020
Montreal, Canada2,538 contributions299 helpful votes
This is not your traditional museum - the Tenement Museum is a testament to the lives of the immigrant families of New York, and you are only experiencing a moment in its entire existence! Tours start from the Museum's gift shop, where you store your things(the tenement house is cramped - no room for bulky coats or backpacks), meet your guide and get an overview of what the tour entails. Down the street are two blocks that belong to the museum, both in varying states of decay and conservation at the same time, providing a view of the apartments inside, but also the state is was last left in. On the tour I booked, "Sweatshop Workers", we visited two individual apartments, learned about the families that occupied them, the jobs they undertook to survive - and sometimes thrive - in this city, and their legacy on the neighborhood. In fact, upon returning into the neighborhood, I felt I had gained some understanding of the history of the people and tenements, the immigrants that gave up everything to come to NY to give their children the chance at a better life. I gained insight thanks to my great visit to the Tenement Museum, and I think that should be a great reason why EVERYONE should visit here at least once. It's living history, the foundation of New York City, and deserves to be shared. A few notes: 1 - The lockers at the gift shop require quarters to use, but are free, as you get your coins back after retrieving your stuff. 2 - There are a lot of narrow stairs to climb in the tenement house, so be aware of that. Also, it gets VERY hot in summer - when the guide offers the paper fans to cool off, TAKE ONE. 3 - No photography in the museum, to protect what is already in an advanced state of decay. 4 - Visit the gift shop. It is one of the coolest in NYC and has some very unique pieces. If for nothing else, it is a great place to browse!
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Date of experience: July 2019
1 Helpful vote
Toronto Couple S wrote a review Mar 2020
Toronto, Canada11 contributions17 helpful votes
New York Tenement history is really interesting - but our visit was ruined by a bad guide. She spent most of the tour asking us (a random group of uninformed tourists) what we thought about the spaces or artifacts we visited. We may be old-school, but we really don't care what Bob from Atlanta thinks or feels about the space. We wanted to hear what a knowledgeable person might say about a really interesting location. We would have preferred leaving the tour and flipping through some of the excellent books displayed in the museum shop. It would have been a better use of our 85 minutes, we might have actually learned something, and saved ourselves some $64 in admission fees. We spoke afterwards with two friends who took an alternate tour with a different guide and their experience was very positive. Our advice for prospective Tenement Museum visitors: find out which guide gives a good tour and join their group!
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Date of experience: March 2020
1 Helpful vote
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