Tenement Museum Visitor’s Center at 103 Orchard Revealed

Posted on: July 25th, 2011 at 6:41 am by

103 Orchard Street is finally seeing the light of day after a long and formative slumber.  Friday afternoon, three years of gut renovations and remodeling reached the penultimate stage of completion with the removal of the tattered plywood fence (and the Shepard Fairey “Rebel Waltz”).  What a relief! Its long bothersome presence had blocked the entire sidewalk, and seized control of half the cobbled Orchard roadway.

As we’ve chronicled these last few years, 103 Orchard Street is the new home for the $6 million Tenement Museum visitor’s center, officially named the Sadie Samuelson Levy Immigrant Heritage Center.  This new facility affords the organization a much larger gift shop (3,000 square-feet), a second-floor education center including three “modern classrooms” and demo kitchen, more bathrooms, and an orientation theater for tourists.

With the unobstructed glass now in direct sight, we finally have our first sneak peek of the new digs without hard hats.  A space that “invites the world into what had been a dead corner.” It’s still rough around the edges, but employees working in the current gift shop across the way at 108 Orchard informed us that the move will transpire at the end of this month, or early next.  This belated opening is roughly a month after initial projections.

Before all the renovation, 103 Orchard Street was once home to ladies wear joint Klein’s of Monticello.  The old time shop closed in 2005 after decades in business.  Below is a photo of the melting pot mural that later graced the roll-down security gate.

Recent Stories

falafel-shop-rivington
The Falafel Shop on Rivington Takes a ‘Maintenance’ Break, Should Return Next Week

You may have noticed that the Falafel Shop on Rivington Street wasn’t open all week. An explanation as to why didn’t actually materialize until yesterday. According to a laminate on the shuttered gate, the popular four-year-old Mediterranean joint closed for routine “maintenance,” but should reopen “middle of next week. Eyal Tov founded the Falafel Shop […]

172ludlow-door
In Which a Hell Square Egg Toss Turns Violent

There is a sense among some that Hell Square is regressing to its former violent self after a brief period of baby-step progress. No more, claim neighbors in the DMZ. Case in point was a rowdy incident this past Monday night (late) involving a crew of revelers outside the Hotel Indigo. A tipster tells us that […]

247cherry-rendering-1
The City is About to Screw the LES Waterfront Again with this 1,000-Foot Tower

The city will screw the Lower East Side waterfront by allowing this 1,000-foot tower to proceed. Indeed, the Department of City Planning reversed course this week, and will now hear the case for this monstrosity. This despite the ongoing litigation over the contested few parcels on the backside of Extell’s One Manhattan Square. It’s certainly a […]

155rivington-closed
St. Jerome’s on Rivington Street is Dead, for Real This Time

Okay, so now it’s really happened. Again. The reincarnated St. Jerome’s on Rivington Street – also known as Rivington F+B – is officially kaput. This past Wednesday was its final night in business. The gates are now shuttered for good, capping a decade (including a year-long hiatus) for the establishment. The closure follows two months […]

gracias-mama-work
MTA Brushes off Vehement Local Opposition to ‘Gracias Mama’ Entrance on Rutgers Street

The MTA sees nothing wrong with having a restaurant entrance mere feet from a bustling subway station. Specifically that of Gracias Mama, whose principals (Koorosh Bakhtiar and Nima Garos) are trying to alter their method of operation, which could become a harbinger of overcrowding in a small area. The bold choice to move the front […]