The Lower East Side: An American Immigration Experience
On this walking tour, you will uncover the history of immigration at The Lower East Side, spanning across two centuries. Explore the gentrified blocks and see how modern culture has merged with historical sights. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of this neighborhood!
- Explore the history of immigrant populations at Lower East Side
- Learn about the waves of immigration, spanning across two centuries
- See how the Lowest East Side is rapidly becoming gentrified
Lower East Side (LES) was once part of the sprawling estate of loyalist James De Lancey, later it would become an American icon, symbolizing the first home for the massive waves of immigrants seeking a better life. And so the story unfolds: Europeans came in droves; Germans in the early 1800s, establishing kleinedeutschland, followed by Eastern and Southern Europeans. After WWII, a new wave settled, from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. The housing in which these immigrant populations lived, the TENEMENT, became synonymous with overcrowded living conditions. Today, store signs are now in Chinese as this new immigrant group has replaced the previous ones. Gentrification is fast changing the neighborhood’s character, especially north of Delancey Street. Some of the older houses of worship still exist, others have either been demolished or changed direction. New to the Lower East Side are the small storefront Buddhist Temples. And so the story continues!