A Rare Look Inside the Tenement Museum

Tonight, to celebrate the opening of their online photo database, the Lower East Side's Tenement Museum held their "Snapshot! A Tenement Museum Photo Event." This event allowed visitors, for the first time ever, to take pictures inside the museum. Our photo opportunity started in the gift shop, where a curator presented a short slideshow of the history of photography in the Lower East Side. He took great care to keep it short and then mentioned that they wanted to get us in the building with plenty of remaining daylight to take pictures. Afterwards, they split us up into groups of three and we marched across the street to 97 Orchard to begin our tour. Our guides were careful to give us free reign of the top three floors, but they were always nearby to answer questions and proudly point out little details that they didn't want us to miss. As I wandered around taking pictures, Kate chatted with the guides who were always ready with information or a story about the building's history.

One of them hinted that the museum may do another photo event later this year. If they do, you should definitely jump on the chance to attend.

All photos are natural light, no flash.

Looking into Third Floor Kitchen, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Kitchen 2nd Floor, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Detail of Floor, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Posters in Bedroom of 3rd Floor, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Dolls and Broom Against Wall, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Books on Chest, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Old "Nuts to You" Message Scrawled in Hallway, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street (click on pic for large version)

Couch and Window, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Game on Kitchen Table, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Striped Socks on Indoor Clothes Line, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

The Hallway Toilet, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Here I was like, "Weird, there's even reading material on a hook." The guide replied, "That's not reading material."

Sewing Machine, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Original Notes on Door Jam of Shop/Apartment, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Flyswatter, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

Blue Room, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

After the tour, we were invited to the newly built rear yard, complete with recreated outdoor privies, to indulge in gelato from museum neighbors Il Laboratorio del Gelato.

Hanging Laundry in the rear yard, Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street

You can spend hours just looking around in the Tenement Museum's gift shop, but don't miss out on a tour of this amazing building.