Perkins Eastman | Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

New York, New York
As part of a comprehensive 20-year strategic plan to help the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (LESTM) enhance its exhibits, collections, educational, and administrative programs, Perkins Eastman programmed and executed more than 20,000 sf of renovations. The plan provided assessment of the existing conditions, space requirements, and programmatic needs of 91, 97, and 103 Orchard Street--the community resource, historic, and public buildings respectively.

In a brick tenement building at 97 Orchard Street, 3,000 sf was stabilized and 400 sf renovated, providing public access to the fourth and fifth floors, upgrades the safety and mechanical systems throughout the building, and protection for the historic fabric of the building. The program includes restoring and recreating an apartment as the 1869 home for an Irish Catholic immigrant family in a space that had been vacant since the 1930s. Two adjacent apartments are equipped with multimedia programs dedicated to the exhibit.

Renovations at 103 Orchard Street provide a new 10,000 sf storefront Visitors Center on one of the most prominent corners of the Lower East Side. Architectural and structural elements including cast iron columns and historic signage--long hidden by years of renovations--were retained, exposed, and highlighted, while others served as inspiration for modern elements. The Center includes showroom, gallery, teaching, and demonstration spaces, all enhanced with thoughtfully incorporated technology.