Thursday, October 22, 2009

20 Things You Didn’t Know About 97 Orchard Street

1. 7,000 people from 20 countries lived at 97 Orchard Street from 1863-1935.

2. The Museum has identified over 1,300 by name.

3. 97 Orchard Street is a pre-Old Law tenement.

4. The German immigrant who built it lived there from 1863-1868.

5. The first tenants were mainly from Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony, and Hanover.

6. Later tenants came from Italy, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire.

7. 97 Orchard Street was a step up from other housing available in 1863.

8. During the 1870s, a Bavarian immigrant named John Schneider ran a saloon in the basement.

9. Later, he moved the saloon across the street to 98 Orchard.

10. Stores like Claman Stove Repair and Feltly’s hat shop also rented space.

11. A palmist named Dora Meltzer told fortunes out of her apartment in the late 19th century.

12. In 1900, about 110 people called the building home.

13. Each apartment is 325-360 square feet.

14. In 1935, the upstairs apartments were shuttered.

15. Retail tenants used the apartments for storage and wrote some of their inventory calculations on the walls.

16. In 1988 these tenants still used the c. 1905 hallway toilets.

17. In a 1993 rear yard dig, we found a beer mug dated to the mid-19th century.

18. The hallway’s mahogany banister dates to 1863.

19. Some apartments in the museum have 22 layers of wallpaper.

20. We found over 4,750 other objects on the property of 97 Orchard Street.

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