Museum at Eldridge Street
When it opened its doors in September of 1887, the Eldridge Street Synagogue became the first synagogue to be built by East European immigrants in America, many of whom initially settled on the Lower East Side. The religious sanctuary was a testament to the fact that Jewish immigrants now could worship openly and freely. Today, this National Historic Landmark offers visitors a view of the 70-foot high vaulted ceiling, hand-painted ceiling decorations, beautiful hand-stenciled walls, magnificent stained glass rose windows, and elaborate brass fixtures.
The museum tells the story of Jewish immigrant life at the turn of the last century, offering the guided tour: From Ellis to Eldridge: Immigrant History. For those interested in the building and the 20-year plus restoration of the synagogue, there is the daily tour: Beyond the Facade: Architecture & Preservation. Walking tours of the Lower East Side neighborhood delve into the history and the evolution of the area.