The Tenement Museum is Crowdfunding to Help Preserve 97 Orchard Street

Posted on: April 24th, 2015 at 5:18 am by
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Apparently the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is in desperate need of care. The institution is deteriorating from the inside out, and requires a boatload of cash to keep the facility in workable shape.

So, the museum is currently in crowdfund mode, soliciting funding to help preserve its prized mid-block building at 97 Orchard Street.

The Preservation Action Plan proposes a number of remedies once the funding goal is met. The following action items were listed in a recent press blast from the Tenement Museum:

Floors rest only on the perimeter walls; they need reinforcement to help bear the load of foot traffic. Exterior walls are weatherworn and need repointing. Front-facing brownstone lintels and rear bluestone lintels need replacement and repair. The heart of our building, a single wooden staircase, needs stabilization. Paint and wallpaper – put up by our tenants decades ago – need conservation.

Home to more than 7,000 people over 60 years and now visited by 215,000 per year

There are several levels of giving, the lowest being $50 (no upper limit, naturally). Head here if you’re interested in supporting the preservation.

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To be honest, though, one can’t help but notice the timeliness of this campaign. The pitch arrives barely a month after a blast rocked Second Avenue, a tragedy that destroyed both lives and businesses. “The Tenement Museum has been told since approximately 2001 that they need to stabilize the structure,” a source with knowledge of the building tells us. Any visitor can tell you that the floors dip and are diagonal. The source goes on to say that the “beams are rotted or rusted, and they use brown duct tape to fix anything that is made of wood.”

We are told that the purchase and completion of the visitors center at 103 Orchard Street reportedly took precedent over many internal recommendations through the years.

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