Apartment Tours

Shop Life

1860s – present day

Immigrant-owned small businesses are often seen as a pathway to the “American dream.” Over the years, 97 Orchard Street has been home to many storefronts and businesses, and Shop Life shares the stories of these immigrant entrepreneurs. Visit a recreated lager beer saloon from the late 1800s and learn about the family that owned and operated the business while living in a tenement apartment behind it. Shop Life also visits the space once occupied by an auction house and explores the stories of 97 Orchard Street businesses in an interactive, multimedia exhibit. Discover how commercial life connects communities, creates opportunity, and links past to present.

Made possible by The David Berg Foundation

We encourage visitors to reserve tickets in advance, as tickets regularly sell out. Space is limited to 14 visitors per time slot for Shop Life. 
Ticket Price: Adults – $29, Seniors, Students, College – $24
Apartment Tours

Shop Life

1860s – present day

Immigrant-owned small businesses are often seen as a pathway to the “American dream.” Over the years, 97 Orchard Street has been home to many storefronts and businesses, and Shop Life shares the stories of these immigrant entrepreneurs. Visit a recreated lager beer saloon from the late 1800s and learn about the family that owned and operated the business while living in a tenement apartment behind it. Shop Life also visits the space once occupied by an auction house and explores the stories of 97 Orchard Street businesses in an interactive, multimedia exhibit. Discover how commercial life connects communities, creates opportunity, and links past to present.

Made possible by The David Berg Foundation

We encourage visitors to reserve tickets in advance, as tickets regularly sell out. Space is limited to 14 visitors per time slot for Shop Life. 
Ticket Price: Adults – $29, Seniors, Students, College – $24
Tour type
Apartment Tours
Tour Location
Ground Floor
Tour Duration
1.25 Hours
Recommended ages
Ages 12 +
Wheelchair Accessible

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

We’re sorry, but it looks like there aren’t any tours scheduled for your selected date.

Please note our daily tour schedules are posted online 6 weeks in advance. If you are searching for a tour schedule more than 6 weeks from today, please try back at a later date.

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The recreated spaces explored on Shop Life include:

 

A Lager Beer Saloon
Immigrants John and Caroline Schneider lived and worked at 97 Orchard Street, operating Schneider’s Lager Beer Saloon from 1864-1886. Discover how their saloon served as a communal space where people gathered not only to socialize but also for political debate and business.

The Schneider Family Tenement Apartment
John and Caroline Schneider occupied a tenement apartment behind their lager beer saloon. Visit their recreated living space and discover how their home life was impacted by the lively, communal business they owned and operated in the next room.

The 97 Orchard Street businesses explored in the interactive multimedia exhibit in Shop Life include:

 

A Butcher Shop
The Lustgartens, immigrants from Austria, ran a kosher butcher shop out of 97 Orchard Street from 1889-1902. Learn how the Lustgartens’ business weathered the boycotts and riots of 1902 in protest of escalating meat prices.

An Auction House
In the 1930s, Romanian-Jewish immigrant Max Marcus ran an auction house for wholesale general goods in the basement of 97 Orchard. Explore how Max operated a business during the most challenging days of the Great Depression.

An Undergarment Store
In the 1970s, Frances and Sidney Meda opened Sidney’s Undergarments Company selling discounted lingerie. Known as the “bargain district”, the Lower East Side was a destination for shoppers seeking bargains.

Accessibility Information

  • This tour takes place in the basement level of 97 Orchard Street in a series of small, low lit apartments. There are 4 steps to enter and 4 steps to exit. See building diagram.
  • This tour uses an outdoor stairwell with an open stair.
  • This tour can also be accessed via a mobility lift located 325 feet away from where the tour begins. The lift capacity is below. To reserve tickets for individuals who use wheelchairs, visitors must call in advance, 1-877-975-3786.

Mobility lift capacity:
Maximum Weight: 750 lbs/340 kgs
Maximum Width: 33 in/.83 m
Maximum Length: 48 in/1.21

  • Seating will be available for most visitors during this tour.
  • Additional handling objects and braille materials are available if requested.
  • Some audio components on this tour can be accessed via induction loop.
  • Assistive listening devices are available if requested.
  • The spaces you will visit on this tour are air conditioned.
  • Printed tour summaries are available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian if requested.

 

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

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