The Tenement Museum welcomes you into the homes of immigrant, migrant, and refugee families to inspire connections between past and present and to promote an inclusive, expansive, and pluralistic American identity.
We tell the stories of working-class tenement residents who moved to New York City from other countries and other parts of the country. Their work helped build the city and nation, and their stories help us understand our history.
While textbooks often overlook the stories of ordinary people, our tours immerse visitors in the tenement hallways, kitchens, and parlors where families carved out new lives. We share primary sources and research that help us explore the stories of tenement families. Free public programs, curricula, and our Your Story, Our Story website continue the conversation, using our stories as points of departure to connect the past to the present.
We aim to build an inclusive and expansive American identity and believe that the exploration of our complex history—one with moments of both inclusion and exclusion—helps prepare us to recognize and discuss today’s complex issues with empathy and nuance.