Wednesday, October 21, 2009

20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Tenement Museum

  1. The Tenement Museum was chartered in 1988.

  2. Museum founder Ruth Abram was a civil rights activist.

  3. The Museum started with only $75,000 in seed money.

  4. The first exhibit was called “Meddling with Peddling.”

  5. Early offices were in the Eldridge Street Synagogue.

  6. The first restored apartments featured the Baldizzi and Gumpertz families.

  7. Tea towels in the Baldizzi apartment once belonged to the family.

  8. The Museum opened the Confino Family Program in 1997.

  9. The tour’s original name was “Music and Mantas.”

  10. Today six different actresses regularly play Victoria Confino.

  11. In 1996, the Tenement Museum purchased 97 Orchard Street.

  12. The Helpern family had owned it since 1911.

  13. Last year over 150,000 people visited us.

  14. Our artifact collection includes over 9,000 objects.

  15. 80 cents of every dollar the Museum earns goes into its education programs.

  16. The Museum has inspired fiction writers like Kevin Baker & Joseph O’Connor.

  17. Metallica once held photo shoots inside 97 Orchard Street.

  18. The pawn shop scene from Men in Black was filmed in our old visitor center, 90 Orchard.

  19. Future plans include a tour about the storefronts of 97 Orchard.

  20. Since 1988, the Tenement Museum has hosted over 1 million visitors.


  1. Hi there - we visited your museum this past Sunday. Jeffrey was our guide for "Piecing it Together." We were the 4 Canadians - not sure if you remember us or not (I was the one Jeffrey called a "liberal" when I said that the consumer should be "outraged" over the way the garment workers were portrayed in the black and white photo! (we adored Jeffrey)

    We loved, loved your museum. I'm now completely obsessed with learning more about the old garment industry.

    Please keep up the amazing work.

  2. Sheri, we love, love getting feedback like this. You've made our day! We passed along your words to Jeffrey.

    Kate & Jes


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