Historical Sites

The Lower East Side was the original destination of many immigrants, coming out of Ellis Island. The neighborhood has always been a constantly evolving melting plot; an epicenter of culture and diversity. Based on this history, there are many historical destinations that still stand proudly today.

1.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

103 Orchard St

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum tells the story of immigrant families. Visitors view restored apartments of past residents from different time periods of 97 Orchard Street, which was home to 7000 people from 1863–1935.

2.

The Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street

(Based in 1887 The Eldridge Street Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark)The Museum’s mission and purpose is to present the culture, history and traditions of the great wave of Jewish immigrants to the Lower East Side drawing parallels with the diverse … Continued

3.

Ridley’s Department Store

319 Grand Street

Once the largest retail establishment in the world, Ridley’s was originally located in this building, which has been subdivided into a number of individual stores.

4.

The University Settlement

184 Eldridge Street

The oldest settlement house in America, it was established at its current site in 1898 under the leadership of Seth Low, then-president of Columbia University, who drew the Settlement’s ranks of volunteers from the university’s students and alumni.

Angel Orensanz Center5.

Angel Orensanz Center

172 Norfolk St.

The Center is housed in the oldest synagogue building in New York. Built in 1849, the historic structure was built in the German-Romantic tradition. The structure has 54-foot ceilings and now serves as a spiritual and cultural center. Call for … Continued

6.

Assafa Islamic Mosque

172 Allen

Great News ! The New Assafa Jame Masjid & Islamic Center will hopefully expand to a Nine-story Building, Insha-allah. Construction of the Islamic Center has been completed up to the 6th floor. Construction is running very rapidly.  

7.

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol

60 Norfolk Street

A Gothic Revival structure erected in 1852; a New York City landmark. This synagogue was originally a Baptist church, and now it houses the oldest Russian Jewish congregation in the United States.

10.

CLEMENTE SOTO VELEZ CULTURAL & EDUCATIONAL CENTER

107 Suffolk Street

Founded in 1993, the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center (CSV) is a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution that is focused on the cultivation, presentation and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latino culture.  

11.

CONGREGATION CHASAM SOPHER

8-10 Clinton Street

Call for appointment Built in 1853, this synagogue was originally a German- Jewish congregation. In 1892 two Polish congregations merged to form the still-active Congregation Chasam Sopher.  

12.

DIXON PLACE

161 Chrystie St

Dixon Place is a 27 year old non-profit organization that provides a space for artists to create and develop new works in front of a live audience. DP is the only theater on the LES with a full cocktail lounge. Every … Continued

13.

Essex Street Market

120 Essex Street

The market has been serving the community for over 50 years selling fresh meats, produce and other products. The market was created by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia to bring pushcart vendors together indoors. Click here for photos of today’s … Continued

Henry Street Settlement14.

Henry Street Settlement

265 Henry Street
 (at the corner of Montgomery Street, one block east of Henry Street)

Since its founding in 1893 by social work pioneer Lillian D. Wald, Henry Street has met continuously the needs of its Lower East Side neighbors. Today, Henry Street offers a wealth of social services and cultural programs, including educational and … Continued

15.

Henry Street Settlement Abrons Arts Center

466 Grand Street, at the corner of Pitt Street (one block east of Ridge Street))

Abrons is home to the national historic landmark Playhouse, two additional theaters, two galleries, and artist studios. Bringing contemporary and experimental performance to the Lower East Side. Abrons also hosts a range of art exhibitions and offers training in music, … Continued

16.

Jarmulovsky’s Bank Building

54/58 Canal Street

Erected in 1895, this building was the tallest structure on the Lower East Side at the time. Founded by Sender Jarmulovsky who, literally, went from rags to riches (he began his “career” on Hester Street, selling rags from a pushcart), … Continued

KatzDeli17.

Katz’s Delicatessen

205 E Houston St

Historical Lower East Side deli and landmark. Try the pastrami, I’ll have what she’s having.

18.

Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue & Museum

280 Broome Street

Opened in 1927 to serve individuals of Greek-Romaniote descent. The Landmark synagogue is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Open to the Public on Sundays 11am-4pm or call for appointment.

19.

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

290 Henry Street (between Montgomery and Jackson Streets, two blocks east of Clinton Street)

Originally constructed by the All Saints Free Church congregation, this landmark Greek revival church was completed in 1828. Above the balcony there are two small “Slave Galleries”.

20.

St. Mary’s Church

440 Grand Street (between Clinton and Pitt Streets)

St. Mary’s Parish began in 1826 on Sheriff Street. In 1832 the cornerstone was laid for the present Church location. St. Mary’s is the third Catholic Church in New York City after St. Peter’s and the old St. Patrick’s. The … Continued

StTeresaRCExt21.

St. Teresa’s Church

16/18 Rutgers Street

Built in 1841 as a Presbyterian church, it has been used as a Catholic church since 1863. Today, masses are held in all three of the area’s main languages–English, Spanish and Chinese.

22.

Sunshine Theater

143 East Houston Street

Originally constructed as a Dutch Church in the 1840′s, the building later housed a boxing venue and a Yiddish vaudeville theater. Closed to the public for 70 years, the movie house now includes five screens and features art house films.

23.

The (former) Municipal Bath House

133 Allen Street

One of 15 free public bath houses in the city. In the early 1900′s, it was built to provide tenement dwellers, most of whom had no bathtubs in their homes, with a place to bathe. It now hosts the Church … Continued

24.

The Educational Alliance

197 East Broadway

The Educational Alliance is a non-profit organization that currently serves 50,000 New Yorkers.  Founded in 1889 to help Jewish immigrants get settled in the U.S., today we serve a broad and diverse group of downtown New Yorkers — of all religions, ethnicities, races … Continued

25.

The Forward Building

175 East Broadway

The building was once home to the most successful Yiddish language newspaper, The Jewish Daily Forward. Founded in 1897, the paper brought a wider vision of American life into the homes of the as yet unassimilated Jewish population, and had … Continued

26.

The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy

235 East Broadway

Non-profit educational organization providing “insider” tours of the LES. We offer private customized tours, as well as public tours of the historic, landmarked synagogues which serve the current vibrant Jewish Community. Visitor Center 400 Grand St. The Lower East Side … Continued

27.

The Seward Park Library

192 East Broadway

Constructed with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie in 1909, the library was designed with a rooftop garden reading area, because land for building was so scarce. It houses a large collection on Lower East Side history.