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

ron-english-graffiti-wall-1
Here is the Ron English ‘All American Temper Tot’ on the Bowery Graffiti Wall

That was quick. The Bowery graffiti wall is already sheathed in its new mural. In a matter of hours yesterday, artist Ron English rolled on his wheat-paste creation to the year-long-stagnating wall at the corner of East Houston. It’s called the “All American Temper Tot,” and features the hulkish green baby (i.e. the Temper Tot) […]

ellis-island-24_wm
Touring the Creepy Abandoned Hospital Complex on Ellis Island [PHOTOS]

Creepy. Cold. Intense. Haunted. All apt adjectives to describe the unused section of Ellis Island designated as ruins. It is on the south side of this national park – straddling the state lines of New York and New Jersey – that a maze-like collection of twenty-nine buildings sits. Rotting away from the inside out. Indeed, […]

140orchard-wildair
Contra Guys Will Open the Casual ‘Wildair’ on Orchard Street Next Month

Around this time last year, Contra scored the go-ahead from Community Board 3 to open a casual, “creative American” restaurant at 94 Allen Street. It was to be a place more approachable than the OG spot. Those plans ultimately hit a dead-end (F18 Gallery opened there instead), though, and owners Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von […]

brunswick-clinton-1
Bluebird’s Alex Hall Swaps Rosella for Brunswick on Clinton Street

This month in identity crises, one Lower East Side coffee shop has decided to change its name. Bluebird principal Alex Hall opened Rosella exactly one year ago at 23 Clinton Street. Competition here is fierce, given the number of java joints within spitting distance (that would be five). The Australian-born Hall ultimately decided to scrap […]

graffiti-wall-night
After a Year of Inactivity, Ron English is the Next Artist to Paint the Bowery Graffiti Wall

The mobile boom was rolled into place beside the freshly-constructed Bowery graffiti wall early yesterday morning. In covering this slab for years, this is the surest signal that a change of the guard is in the cards. Indeed, the next entrant is already at bat to paint a mural here. Acclaimed street artist Ron English has […]