Tenement Museum Visitor’s Center at 103 Orchard Revealed

Posted on: July 25th, 2011 at 6:41 am by

103 Orchard Street is finally seeing the light of day after a long and formative slumber.  Friday afternoon, three years of gut renovations and remodeling reached the penultimate stage of completion with the removal of the tattered plywood fence (and the Shepard Fairey “Rebel Waltz”).  What a relief! Its long bothersome presence had blocked the entire sidewalk, and seized control of half the cobbled Orchard roadway.

This image has been archived or removed.

As we’ve chronicled these last few years, 103 Orchard Street is the new home for the $6 million Tenement Museum visitor’s center, officially named the Sadie Samuelson Levy Immigrant Heritage Center.  This new facility affords the organization a much larger gift shop (3,000 square-feet), a second-floor education center including three “modern classrooms” and demo kitchen, more bathrooms, and an orientation theater for tourists.

This image has been archived or removed.

With the unobstructed glass now in direct sight, we finally have our first sneak peek of the new digs without hard hats.  A space that “invites the world into what had been a dead corner.” It’s still rough around the edges, but employees working in the current gift shop across the way at 108 Orchard informed us that the move will transpire at the end of this month, or early next.  This belated opening is roughly a month after initial projections.

This image has been archived or removed.

Before all the renovation, 103 Orchard Street was once home to ladies wear joint Klein’s of Monticello.  The old time shop closed in 2005 after decades in business.  Below is a photo of the melting pot mural that later graced the roll-down security gate.

This image has been archived or removed.

Recent Stories

From the Rooftops: The Hell Square Aural Assault

Articles about ear-shattering noise levels, from parties to cruising cars, as well as the general lack of regard for the residents of Hell Square, are rote at this point. Almost a cliche. But to residents living in the bullseye, the aural assault remains a weekly nightmare. And this past Saturday night, by several accounts, upped […]

Pitt Pool Opens for Summer Season

New York City public pools officially opened yesterday. For the Lower East Side, that means the Pitt Pool (aka Hamilton Fish) is ready to go. The launch happened with great fanfare. Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue joined Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Senator Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Carlina Rivera, and local kids […]

At Belse, the New Vegan Brewery on the Bowery

Belse, the Texas-based vegan brewery and restaurant, is now in business on the Bowery. The Lone Star State transplant – officially, Belse Plant Cuisine – takes 11,000 square-feet at 265-267 Bowery, in what was previously the fleeting home of the Paulaner Brauhaus brewery. The renovated space features three sections – a restaurant, bar, and Garden […]

East Village Artist M. Henry Jones, Contemporary of Keith Haring, Dies

M. Henry Jones, a member of the East Village arts scene for over forty years, died last week (either June 16 or 17) at the age of 65. We’re told, though unconfirmed, the cause of death was a form of cancer. Jones was a neighborhood fixture for decades, in part, because of his storefront studio […]

Under the Floorboards at Long-Vacant East Houston Lot

Bereft of substantial activity in nearly two decades, the long-vacant parcel at 49 East Houston Street is in deterioration overdrive. An eagle-eyed tipster notes that the floorboards atop the existing foundation are now busted. Creating a pseudo entryway into the cellar level. Before its demise fourteen years ago, 49 East Houston had been a one-story […]