Tenement Museum Begins its 10K Square-Foot Expansion into 103 Orchard Street

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 at 5:00 am by
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Since last week, a team of workers has been constructing a mess of scaffolding around 103 Orchard Street. This property, of course, is owned by the Tenement Museum, and houses the Sadie Samuelson Levy Visitors Center on the ground level. But now the Lower East Side institution is expanding its footprint.

This is not a complete surprise. It was late-2013 when President Morris Vogel announced that the Tenement Museum would begin a 10,000 square-foot expansion on the upper floors of 103 Orchard, two doors toward Delancey. The push began some four years ago when Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) introduced an amendment to the “Lower East Side Tenement National Historic Site Act” (Public Law 105-378), which effectively acknowledges this new address as part of the museum. The revision paved the way for further renovations of the tenement building.

A giddy post from the museum on Instagram announces that the reopening should happen sometime in the summer of 2017, and to “mark your calendars” for the new exhibition. As previously reported, this programming will focus on Chinese immigrants, Jewish Holocaust survivors, and Puerto Rican newcomers who came to the Lower East Side after World War II.

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The Tenement Museum is also reportedly the recent beneficiary of a generous lump sum from the National Park Service. It was announced back in December that the US Department of the Interior awarded the Lower East Side institution a grant of $249,000 for the “preservation and maintenance of the site located at 97 Orchard St. and other National Park New York Harbor sites such as Castle Clinton, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty national monuments in New York.”

The Tenement Museum purchased the corner building at 103 Orchard Street in 2007 for $7 million.

Meanwhile, the organization still does not support the push for a landmarked Lower East Side Historic District.

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