3D Laser Scanning Services: Our Tenement Past

Millions of Americans Can Track Their Ancestry Back to Tenements Similar to This One

In the 19th century, New York became home to hundreds of thousands of Americans who filled the city. They found shelters on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where the society grew and nearly became a population of over 250 million people by the mid-1860s. They lived on 97 Orchard Street, which was architecturally simple and not outstanding compared to thousands of other functional buildings at the time. Today, through 3D laser scanning services, it is being kept at the Tenement Museum to preserve history. 

Through 3D scanning services and the innovative public history organization, the history of America has been preserved, and visitors can view relics and reminders of one of the most important migrations in American history.

It had no protection from diseases but only basic safeguarding from fire for many years. As the public became aware of how to improve deadly diseases, laws involved with housing emerged in the years 1879 and 1901 to catalyze accumulative changes. According to the Senior Director of the Museum, the Tenement Act is not about how comfortable you are in your house but about making sure the public gets good health services. 

The tenement has a unique brick structure and was built in a way that the spaces are crammed together. Together with the landlords, the residents wrestled with diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, and influenza. With all the fear from the diseases and bad odor, even people from foreign lands left marks that cannot be erased on its design and structure. 

Among the busiest rooms in the apartment building was the basement saloon, operated by a German couple. Today, the basement only contains a map of Germany, organs, and some sheet music. German immigrants valued saloons and beer gardens, but others only saw this as a sense of debauchery and drunkenness and worried about how this would affect American values. 

The German couple, Caroline and John, prepared the food for clients in their kitchen next to the public room. Sadly, they both succumbed to tuberculosis in 1885 and 1892, respectively. 

During the 1860s, the state of being sick was greatly feared, especially in the tenements. Tuberculosis was considered endemic at that time, but after some years of deaths, scientific knowledge of the disease has created some understanding of how to contain the spread and cut off its expansion. 

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