Exploring the Abandoned Hospital of Ellis Island

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From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants entered America through the portal of Ellis Island in New York Harbor.

While the majority of these people only had to pass through the doors of the Immigration Station, about 1.2 million — or 10% of Ellis Island arrivals — were directed to the General Hospital and Infectious Disease Ward on the south island. Immigrants with a chalk mark on their clothing, which signaled a health deficiency, were sent on to the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital to be detained until they recovered or were deemed too sick to enter the United States. Despite the fact that an estimated 3,500 people died in the Immigrant Hospital, around 350 babies were born during the years of operation. The hospital saw a steady decline and closed for good in 1954.

Thanks to the efforts of Save Ellis Island, an organization formed to oversee the rehabilitation and preservation of the unrestored buildings, the abandoned hospital has opened to the public for the first time in 60 years. Many of the 29 buildings of the general hospital and infectious disease ward are now open for guided hard hat tours.

ellis island abandoned hospital hard hat tour

An exciting addition to the 10-person tours is the installation of French artist JR’s “Unframed – Ellis Island”, in which historic images from the island’s past have been overlaid onto its crumbling walls and broken windows. The “art exhibit” will continue to add an eerie feel to the derelict buildings until it decides to gradually disappear of it’s own volition.

Enjoy the collection of photos I captured from Ellis Island’s forgotten hospital and make sure to book a tour so you can explore it for yourself!

abandoned hospital ellis islandEntrance to the Laundry Building

ellis island abandoned hospital jr art installation pictureArtist JR’s “Unframed — Ellis Island”

ellis island abandoned hospital tourLeading into the Kitchen

jr ellis island art installation (2)

unframed ellis island jr art installation

ellis island abandoned hospitalMorgue & Autopsy Theater

ellis island abandoned hospital open

ellis island abandoned hospital hallway

ellis island abandoned hospital pictures

jr ellis island art installationArtist JR’s “Unframed — Ellis Island”

ellis island abandoned hospital pictureLaundry Building

ellis island abandoned hospital photographs

abandoned hospital on ellis islandConnecting Corridors

ellis island abandoned hospital imageDoctor’s Residence

ellis island abandoned hospital photos

ellis island jr art installation image

abandoned hospital ellis island images

abandoned hospital ellis island image

ellis island abandoned general hospitalFerry Building & General Hospital

jr art installation ellis island images

unframed ellis island art installation imageY Corridor

jr art installation at ellis island

ellis island abandoned hospital images

ellis island abandoned hospital tour details

ellis island photographL to R: Ellis Island Immigration Hospital | Ferry Building | Ellis Island Immigration Station


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