The Tenement Restoration
97 Orchard Street was completely boarded up from 1935 through 1987. When the building was finally opened, everything found inside was exactly as it had been left when the tenement was sealed. During the recent restoration, over 1,500 artifacts were found in the building, including kitchenware,
toys, cosmetic products, documents, soda, medicinal and milk bottles, letters, newspapers, bottons, old coins, fabric scraps, etc.
Many of these objects were actually found underneath the floorboards and inside mailboxes.
The next focal points for the restoration are the tenement building's entryway and its courtyard. The entryway features lincrusta wallpaper, tin ceilings, tiled floors and painted medallions, which will be restored and interpreted, as will the courtyard privies.
Plans for below the stoop and first floor storefronts of the tenement include the restoration of "Schneider's,"
a 19th century German beer saloon, and "Professor Dora Meltzer's Palmistry Studio," which existed in the first floor back room at
the turn-of-the-century and operated seven days a week from 9am to 10pm.