Did you visit the Tenement Museum this summer and leave wanting to know even more about the families of 97 Orchard Street? Our online photo database contains images of some of 7,000 people who lived in the tenement building from 1863 to 1935, including the Baldizzi family (whose apartment you can explore virtually or visit on the “Getting By” tour). Adolfo Baldizzi, who immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1923, lived at 97 Orchard Street from 1928 to 1935 with his wife Rosaria, and children Josephine and Johnny. While Adolfo worked odd jobs and Rosaria found employment lining coats in a garment factory, the family struggled to survive the depression. You can learn more about the Baldizzis by browsing through their family photos below.
Rosaria Baldizzi stands on the roof of a building. She is holding a purse in her right hand, ca. 1925-40. When Josephine’s job at the garment factory threatened her family’s Home Relief benefits, she quit.
Adolfo Baldizzi poses beside a wood inlay of the New York City skyline “home bar” he made, ca. 1930-50. Adolfo had formally trained as a fine woodworker in Italy, but after immigrating, was forced to work odd jobs.
Johnny Baldizzi and Josephine Baldizzi stand on the roof of 97 Orchard Street, ca.1935. Josephine remembered the anxiety people felt during the depression and recalled that as a child she felt more like a “little old lady.”
Josephine Baldizzi Esposito and family attended the MetLife/Tenement Museum Family Reunion in 1992. Pictured here are Roger Esposito, Maria Esposito Capio, Josephine’s husband George Esposito, Josephine Baldizzi Esposito, Gina Grzelak, and James Grzelak. Josephine was very involved in the restoration of her family’s apartment in 97 Orchard Street.
-posted by Amita