Your Vote Could Score the Tenement Museum a $250k Grant to Save its Crumbling Facade

We just received an urgent message from Sarah Lohman, a Long Island City historic gastronomist whose work with really old food we profiled in 2010. Lohman also works at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which stores plenty of city food history and is up for a $25o,ooo grant to help preserve its building, a piece of which just fell off yesterday, Lohman reports. You can do your part by voting–instructions from Lohman below–to send the museum to the top of the heap of those in the running for funds. Since Lohman’s appeal was so moving, we figured we’d just go ahead and share it in her words below, you can also watch this video.


I have a mission for you. It involves my favorite place in New York City, which is also where I work: The Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

The Museum is a structure built as affordable housing in 1863. After being home to about 7,000 residents, most of them new immigrants to the United States, the building closed in 1935. It remained abandoned for 53 years, until the Museum took it over in 1988.

A “ruined” apartment, preserved in time, at the LES Tenement Museum

Now, visitors can take tours of the space, learning about immigrants of the past and present, through the stories of real families who called the building home. Each tour explores one floor of the tenement, examining both restored spaces and abandoned rooms that have been frozen in time. It is awesome.

The museum needs your help. They’re up for a $250,000 grant to preserve their structure. But it’s a competitive thing: 40 institutions have been nominated to receive this money. So the museum needs your vote. This grant would help keep this museum–a tribute to the American story of immigration–up and running for many years to come. If you need any more convincing, check out this video above: The Top Ten Reasons to Vote for the Tenement

The museum needs to be in the top four to receive this grant, and they are currently languishing in fifth place. You can vote once a day, every day, from now until May 21st. You can vote through Facebook here, or through the Partners in Preservation webpage.

We are currently in 6th place; today a piece of our building FELL OFF, so we really need this grant.

Please help us win! It only takes a minute to help preserve 149 years of history. Forward this email to spread the word.


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