How Working People Lived in the 19th Century

At 97 Orchard Street stands a 5-story tenement building built in 1865. More then 7500 immigrants lived in this 25' by 68' building during a 70-year period.

The first tenants did not have running water or indoor toilets. In 1901, one toilet was installed for every two apartments, and the kitchen sink doubled up as the bathtub. Today one can still find occupied apartments in Lower Manhattan that have one tub in the kitchen.

In 1988, this building was purchased by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (108 0rchard Street — www.tenement.org) who conducts daily tours through the tenements.

sign at 97 Orchard Street, part of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
97 Orchard Street, part of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Photo copyright Jeffrey Altman. All rights reserved.

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