Select Page

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces (MoRUS)

About this listing

Living history of grassroots urban activism 

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Residential, Social Movements, Education

Place Matters Profile

Written by Lydia Cohen Harris for Place Matters and the Fall 2020 History, Identity, and Place course of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies MA Program

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space sits on occupied Lenape Land, quietly tucked away on Avenue C between 9th and 10th Streets, in the neighborhood now known as the Lower East Side, the East Village, and Alphabet City. Walking past, you’d hardly notice its unassuming façade, were it not for the bright signs proclaiming the site as a “radical history museum.” In fact, MoRUS calls itself a “living history of urban activism,” and what is more radical than that? Through decades – centuries, really – of gentrification, the neighborhood today known as the East Village has seen hundreds of communities and millions of stories change its essence. MoRUS workers strive to archive and preserve that essence, positioning their work as a revolutionary act in...

Read More


Correal, Annie. “Photographs From the History of C-Squat, a Punk Homestead.” The New York Times , June 12, 2015. omestead.html. 

DiPaola, Bill, and Laurie Mittelmann. "Sitting Down to Talk Squatting With Homesteading Museum Founders." Interview by Jared Malsin. The Local East Village , March 7, 2012

Etherington, Cait. "The Neighbors Who Arrived First: C-Squat at 155 Avenue C.” CityRealty , October 25, 2018. c-squat-155-avenue-c/5645.

Foderaro, Lisa W. "WILL IT BE LOISAIDA OR ALPHABET CITY?; Two Visions Vie In the East Village." The New York Times , May 17, 1987.

Leland, John. "East Village Shrine to Riots and Radicals." The New York Times , December 8, 2012.

Luna, Cari. "Squatters of the Lower East Side." Jacobin , accessed November, 2020.

McArdle, Andrea. "Re-Integrating Community Space: The Legal and Social Meanings of Reclaiming Abandoned Space in New York’s Lower East Side." CUNY Academic Works (247-264). 2015.

Moynihan, Colin. "Sharing a Part of Activist History in the East Village." The New York Times , March 4, 2012. tory.html.

Moynihan, Colin. "When Posters Were the Samizdat of the Lower East Side." The New York Times , May 18, 2017. .html.

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space. "About Us." About MoRUS. Copyright 2019.

Rivas, Bimbo. "Loisaida." Written 1974. Sofrito For Your Soul.

Starecheski, Amy. "The Transformation of One of New York City’s Most Famous Squats." Sapiens , January 24, 2017.

Steinhauer, Jillian. "Building a Museum of Activism." Hyperallergic , August 15, 2013.

Website :

Share This Listing

Place Matters is a project of:
Place Matters c/o City Lore
56 E. First Street
New York, NY 10003
© Place Matters. All Rights Reserved.
Website by Echo