The Tenement Museum
The Tenement Museum is prestigious for its fine architecture and history that continues to relive itself. The tours of the museum show the lives of the people who once lived inside the tenements. The tours educate the visitors on historical events and display a museum unlike any other. The following essay will incorporate my experience at the museum along with the stories of the families that once dwelled in these tenements and lived during a time of economic struggle. In the nineteenth century, families of all different kinds of races resided in tenements. The tenements I will be writing about are located on 96 Orchard Street in the lower east side of New York City. Every room tells a remarkable story of the lives of many who endured struggle and the means of survival. In this specific tenement, we as visitors were given a tour of two particular families who dwelled here all those years ago. The two families were known as the Gumpertz and the Baldizzi family. As you will read, the lives of these families are great examples of how hard it was to survive, with the difficulties of providing basic needs for the family. It was the late 1800’s and the Gumpertz family consisted of Julius Gumpertz (father), Nathalie Gumpertz (mother), and their children. The family was living in a 3 room apartment, which consisted of one bedroom, a kitchen, and a living room. Like other families who lived in a one bedroom apartment, they struggled. The lack of space, food, and money, made their living situation very challenging. At any given time, the apartment would be without heat or water, making it a daily struggle to survive without these essential items functioning. Apart from these inconsistencies, there were also trust issues that also categorize the daily struggle of those dwelling in these tenements. For example, Nathalie would hang dry the family’s clothing inside their apartment so that it would not be stolen by any of the local people since they had...
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