Inside the Walls of New York’s Tenement Museum

Caitlin Schneider

What’s hiding in the walls of your apartment? If it’s anything like 97 Orchard Street, probably some beer cans, a Ouija board, a couple of doll heads, and some mummified rats.

The Tenement Museum recently gave Gothamist a rare peek at the collection of items that have been found in the floors and walls of the building over the course of decades. They’re part of a private collection and not on display to the public.

The Lower East Side five-story property on Orchard was built in 1863, and is now a National Historic site. Its three-room, 325 square foot apartments housed a total of around 7,000 people until it closed in 1935. The recovered items are a strange and fascinating glimpse into those many lives.

To see photos of the found objects of past New Yorkers click here.