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Grant number: BP-50071-08

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Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York, NY 10002-3102)
Stephen H. Long (Project Director: September 2007 to June 2008)
Renee Epps (Project Director: June 2008 to present)

Rear Yard Exhibit

Planning an exhibit and programs interpreting the backyard as used by tenants from 1864 to 1905, exploring themes of urban sanitation, technological change, and social reform, and the uses of rear yards as communal spaces.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum seeks $40,000 from the National Endowment for Humanities to cover part of the costs associated with hiring outside consultants needed to continue planning the Rear Yard Exhibit. The Rear Yard Exhibit will recreate the backyard and privies (toilets used by tenement residents from 1864 until 1905) behind the Museum's landmark tenement building at 97 Orchard Street. To date, the Museum has researched and restored five apartments in 97 Orchard Street, creating "period apartments" that offer the public a glimpse into the experiences of the diverse immigrant families who lived in the building between 1863 and 1935. The Rear Yard Exhibit will enhance Museum visitors' understanding of the immigrant experience on the Lower East Side in the 19th century by providing visitors with an in-depth understanding of how immigrants existed day-to day. The exhibit will also explore themes such as urban sanitation and the communal aspects of rear yards.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Interpreting America's Historic Places: Planning Grants

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2008 – 9/30/2009