The museum is housed in a genuine tenement building that was inhabited until the 1930's or so. It was purchased in the 80's by a woman who wanted to restore it and open it to the public so people could see how immigrants actually lived back in the day. I've been to two of the talks, one about an Irish family and the other about an Italian family. They actually tracked down people who lived in the building as children so they could recount their memories of growing up there. It's really fascinating stuff. My only complaint is that they were not at all accomodating when I went there with about 25 students and we were unavoidably detained by problems with the railroad and subways that were being renovated at the time. We went all the way from Long Island on a miserably rainy day, only to be told that we could only have a 15 minute tour, take it or leave it. I had called from the subway station to tell them we were trying our best to get there as fast as we could. We were not offered any discount for another visit or any other accomodation. Other than that, the museum is a wonderful place to learn about how our ancestors lived when they first came here.
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