The Lower East Side Tenement Museum published a fascinating link this week, describing their on-going research through the respectful handling of the building and the artifacts it contains. This is a form of 'archaeology' of the site that shows how through research and continuous reflection, buildings give many clues to the stories of lives in spaces such as the Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street New York and similarly in Hostel 33 at Lwandle.
In a similar manner there are a number of intriguing remnants emerging in Hostel 33, a selection of which are shown below. We will continue to post details such as this as we document the building.
Image from one of the partition walls at Hostel 33 showing cardboard box panels from Rainbow Chickens, wall paper pastings from Sunlight Soap bars, all nailed onto a timber superstructure with the characteristic 'bottle top' method. Photograph: Noeleen Murray.
Traces of more recent inhabitation of the Hostel post 1994, show election stickers for the African National Congress (ANC) from Nelson Mandela's time as head of the party. Photograph: Laura Davies.
There are many pages from popular magazines which were pasted onto walls inside hostel rooms, such as this one from the 1990s. Photograph: Noeleen Murray.
In all likelihood workers residing in the hostels brought home materials from their places of work in nearby industries with which to create privacy in the hostel, such as in this image or to create insulation below the ceilingless roof. Photograph: Noeleen Murray.