Apartment Tours

Hard Times

1870s – 1930s

Explore how immigrants coped with economic hardship through the stories of the Gumpertz family and the Baldizzi family. Hear how these two families, living in different centuries, shared similar struggles, hopes, and survival strategies as they worked to create new lives in America. Visit the recreated homes of the Gumpertz family, whose primary breadwinner disappeared during the Panic of 1873, and the Baldizzi family, who persevered through the Great Depression.

We encourage visitors to reserve tickets in advance, as tickets regularly sell out. Space is limited to 15 visitors per time slot for Hard Times. 

Apartment Tours

Hard Times

1870s – 1930s

Explore how immigrants coped with economic hardship through the stories of the Gumpertz family and the Baldizzi family. Hear how these two families, living in different centuries, shared similar struggles, hopes, and survival strategies as they worked to create new lives in America. Visit the recreated homes of the Gumpertz family, whose primary breadwinner disappeared during the Panic of 1873, and the Baldizzi family, who persevered through the Great Depression.

We encourage visitors to reserve tickets in advance, as tickets regularly sell out. Space is limited to 15 visitors per time slot for Hard Times. 

Tour type
Apartment Tours
Tour Location
97 Orchard Street, 2nd Floor
Tour Duration
1 Hour
Recommended ages
Ages 6 + Permitted
Not recommended for visitors with mobility issues

Tickets are available at the Visitor Center on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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The Gumpertz Family

Nathalie and Julius Gumpertz came separately from Prussia in the 1850s, meeting and marrying in America. With their four children, the couple lived in a 325-square-foot apartment at 97 Orchard Street when the Panic of 1873 exploded, bringing with it an acute financial crisis. One day Julius left for work and never returned home, leaving Nathalie as sole provider for her family. The Hard Times tour relates how Nathalie, an immigrant woman living in the late 19th century, summoned her own creativity and skill, and the help of neighbors, charitable organizations, and her community, to survive and thrive in America.

The Baldizzi Family

Economic turmoil returned again in the 20th century. The stock market crash of 1929 led America into the Great Depression, a severe economic downturn that lasted until 1939. Adolfo and Rosaria Baldizzi, immigrants from Sicily, Italy, lived at 97 Orchard Street between 1928 and 1935 with their two American-born children, Josephine and Johnny. Adolfo, a man with big dreams, struggled to find steady work in America. Through a combination of odd jobs, governmental assistance, and charitable aid, he and his family endured these difficult times.

Together, the Gumpertz and Baldizzi family stories explore the role large-scale national and international forces play in the lives of individual families, and considers the range of solutions that have helped immigrants — and others facing hardship — as they cope with economic depressions.

Accessibility Information

  • This tour takes place on the second floor of 97 Orchard Street in a series of small, low lit apartments. There are 24 steps to enter and 23 steps to exit. See building diagram.
  • This tour uses an outdoor stairwell with an open stair.
  • Limited seating will be available during the tour.
  • Additional handling objects and braille materials are available if requested.
  • Assistive listening devices are available if requested.
  • Printed tour summaries are available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German if requested.

 

For more information about accessibility at the Museum please visit the Accessibility at the Museum section.

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