We tell the stories of Lower East Side tenement residents, who moved to New York City from other countries and other parts of the country. Their work helped build the city and nation, and their stories help us understand our history. While textbooks often overlook the stories of ordinary people, our tours immerse visitors in the tenement hallways, kitchens and parlors where families carved out new lives. We share primary sources and research that help us explore the stories of tenement families and Lower East Side history. Public programs, lesson plans for teachers, and our Your Story Our Story website continue the conversation, using our stories to connect the past to present.
We aim to build an inclusive and expansive American identity and believe that the exploration of our complex history—one with moments of both inclusion and exclusion—helps prepare us to recognize and discuss today’s issues with empathy and nuance.
Programs including free virtual events can be found on the Tenement Museum website.