Lower East Side Tenement Museum

New York City, New York (1863)
Delicate Paint Finishes and Plaster on Wood Lath

The Building:
A popular museum that focuses on America’s urban immigrant history. Between 1863 and 1935, 7,000 tenants lived at this 97 Orchard Street address. 

An Interesting Curatorial Mandate:
The museum has an interesting and challenging curatorial mandate for rooms that are in a severe state of dilapidation and not on public display: to stabilize and preserve all of the delicate finishes (i.e. wallpaper, varnishes, friable calcimine paint or distemper paint) in their “as found” condition so that they can be studied by future researchers interested in America’s urban immigrant history.

Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side, New York City, New York, USA
The challenge was to preserve and stabilize delicate finishes in their as-found condition.

Working with Jablonski Building Conservation Inc., Historic Plaster Conservation Services introduced its new product, Tri-Funori™, to re-attach and stabilize very fragile wallpaper in several rooms. This was the first application of Tri-Funori™ in an architectural conservation setting and was conducted in preparation for the next phase of work – conserving the wood lath and plaster ceilings.

Tools Used

HPCS Micro-Jacks™

Historic Plaster Conservation Services