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Through extant fabric of preserved buildings in America’s iconic immigrant neighborhood, the Tenement Museum reveals the stories of nearly 20,000 people who lived in NYC’s Lower East Side in the 1970s—helping us understand how immigration has shaped the nation’s culture, economy, and society. The design firm has partnered with the Museum for more than ten years, helping it: create an urban campus; increase prominence within NYC and the growth and cultural changes of Lower Manhattan; and become a unique community and civic resource. It is now regarded as a top cultural destination in NYC and is a National Historic Site. The design deliberately retained and showcases as much of the existing buildings as possible so they can serve as teaching tools. Sensitive interventions to the building fabric also enhance the environment for Museum staff. The challenge of safely reproducing the conditions that retain these buildings’ historic significance and remaining responsive to the Museum’s vision and educational goals, was significant.

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