Our visitors are what make the Tenement Museum the thriving and growing place that it is today. Since we appreciate our visitors very much, every month, we’ll give a shout out to a special visitor (or visitors) to the Tenement Museum! It’s our Visitor of the Month. If you’d like to be one of our Visitors of the Month, just ask your friendly Tenement Museum Staff Member!
Christa and Andreas are in New York for the second time (their first since 1989, when the Lower East Side looked a lot different!) and brought their two high-school-aged kids, Samuel and Anna to New York for the first time. They hail from Solothurn, in German-speaking Switzerland, where Christa is a high school history teacher (at their kids’ school, no less) and Andreas is an electrical engineer.
They came and first took the Irish Outsiders tour, about which Christa said, “What made it really special is that we could feel the people in the rooms; we could smell and taste and experience feelings. We had no idea that there was racism against the Irish, whom we have always considered as white people. It was shocking and eye-opening to think of their lives here in Kleindeutschland, which we had also never heard of.”
The Moore apartment in 97 Orchard Street is the focus of the Irish Outsiders tour.
Andreas, an engineer, was amazed at how technologically advanced the sanitary conditions were here: “I never would’ve thought that outhouses could be flushed into the river,” he said and was also impressed by how modern coal distribution was.
Tenement outhouses, or, as they were known, "privies."
Christa, Andreas, Samuel and Anna even came back the next day to take the Hard Times tour!
The apartment of Nathalie Gumpertz, featured on the Hard Times tour.
At the bookstore, they picked up copies of Jane Ziegelman’s 97 Orchard: An Edible History, Andrew Dolkart’s Biography of a Tenement House in New York City, and What Might Have Been: An Irish Family at 97 Orchard Street by Joseph O’Connor.
They called this the unexpected highlight of their trip.