IAM featured in Our Town Downtown


Appropriately nestled on the corner of Mulberry and Grand streets among the Italian bakeries and aroma of freshly cooked pasta, the Italian American Museum pays homage to the first immigrants to come to New York City.

The museum's director, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, an extremely knowledgeable – you guessed it – Italian-American sociologist, bought the building in 2008 from the Italian-American Stabile family, with the hope of archiving community artifacts from the last century and a half. The Stabile family emigrated to New York in the 1860s and first opened the space as a bank.

The museum's interior is built around the actual glass booths where the tellers sat, and includes an array of artifacts from the 19th century through today. The collection ranges from Italian-American currency printed in New Jersey during World War II (when the U.S. occupied Italy) to the first vendor plates from the annual San Gennaro festival. Old passports and luggage tags are showcased beside community photographs, marriage certificates and even a restored wedding dress. The very back of the museum holds an organ that dates back to 1898, a 6-foot-tall bank vault and hand-cranked calculators used in the space years ago.

Welcoming about 100,000 yearly visitors, the museum preserves a culture unique to our city's Little Italy – “the most famous Little Italy in the world,” according to Scelsa.

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street / New York, NY 10013
Tel. 212-965-9000
email: info@ItalianAmericanMuseum.org
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