Step back in time and into the partially restored 1863 tenement building at 97 Orchard Street, where you can squeeze through the preserved apartments of immigrants, learn about the struggles of past generations, and gain historical perspective on the still contentious topic of immigration. This is America's first urban living-history museum dedicated to the life of immigrants. The museum itself is only accessible by guided tour, each run at various times each day and limited to 15 people, so it's a good idea to buy tickets in advance. The building tour called "Hard Times" visits the homes of Natalie Gumpertz, a German-Jewish dressmaker (dating from 1878), and Adolph and Rosaria Baldizzi, Catholic immigrants from Sicily (1935). "Sweatshop Workers" visits the Levines' garment shop/apartment and the home of the Rogarshevsky family from Eastern Europe (1918). "Irish Outsiders" explores the life of the Moores, an Irish American family living in the building in 1869, and shows a re-created
tenement backyard. "Shop Life" looks at the various businesses run on the street level here, including a German-style bar, a kosher butcher, an auctioneer, and, in the 1970s, a discount underwear store. A two-hour extended experience tour with a chance for in-depth discussion is given every day, as are walking tours of the neighborhood. Note that most tours don't allow kids under 5.