Ive finally got around to putting up afew photos from my recent trip to New York, and on my second day there i visited the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital
Heres some info/history, i wont post it all as on the Wiki page, there is alot of history, which you can see here if you wanna see more
The Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, also known as USPHS Hospital #43, was the United States’ first public health hospital, opened in 1902 and operating as a hospital until 1930. Constructed in phases, the facility encompassed both a general hospital and a separate pavilion style contagious disease hospital. The hospital served as a detention facility for new immigrants who were deemed unfit to enter the United States after their arrival; immigrants would either be released from the hospital to go on to a new life in America or sent back to their home countries. The hospital was one of the largest public health hospitals in United States history and is still viewed today as an extraordinary endeavor in the public health field.
The hospital is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. While the monument is managed by the National Park Service as part of the National Parks of New York Harbor office, the south side of Ellis Island has been off-limits to the general public since its closing. Efforts to restore the hospital buildings and others on the island are being made by government partner Save Ellis Island. In October 2014, the hospital opened to the public for small-group hard hat tours.
The original immigration station on Ellis Island opened January 1, 1892, and processed 700 people that first day. In September of that year, the Hamburg-America steamer S.S. Moravia arrived at quarantine with several confirmed cases of cholera. Every ship arriving in the port of New York was held at quarantine before being cleared to land. Passengers found to have dangerous contagious diseases were taken off ships at quarantine and transferred to the hospital at either Hoffman or Swinburne Island. Twenty-four of Moravia's passengers were ill and twenty-two deaths had occurred during the voyage. Many were children. It was believed that the outbreak occurred due to the ship taking on contaminated water from the Elbe river. The threat of a pandemic caused all shipping traffic to be suspended. The backlog of ships held at quarantine and the lack of adequate medical facilities to handle the volume quickly precipitated the need for a more robust healthcare facility to treat immigrants and merchant marine sailors.
Twenty years after opening, the hospital, as well as Ellis Island itself, was in decline due to tightening restrictions on immigration in the United States. In 1930, the hospital closed its doors. After the hospital was closed, the FBI occupied the space as an office through the 1930s. During World War II, disabled American servicemen were sometimes housed on the islands, as well as some German and Italian prisoners of war. After the war, many war brides were detained and sometimes treated on Ellis Island. During the 1940s, the hospitals were utilized to treat Merchant Marine sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and U.S. military personnel. During the postwar period, electroconvulsive therapy was employed as a method to treat mental illnesses. This was preferred over the archaic cold water bath therapy or hydropathy, which could cause hypothermia.
In 1954, the islands were officially abandoned by the Coast Guard and declared “excess federal property”. In 1996, the World Monuments Fund listed the hospital as one of the world’s 100 Most Endangered Properties, a warning echoed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which put the buildings on the list of “most endangered historical places in the United States.” A study conducted by the New York Landmarks Conservancy estimated that with about $3 million of federal funding, the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital could be stabilized for the next 15 years. According to the Conservancy, 15 years would allow time to develop a long-term preservation plan
You would have noticed some art on the walls in the photos, this was by a French street artist JR awakens history with his ‘Unframed – Ellis Island’ Exhibition. The tour and exhibition provide an immersive visual and sensory experience loaded with historical significance. It is not to be missed! ~ Rachael Silverstein, The Culture Trip
The work, which is accessible by guided tour, will remain up “until it decides to disappear.”
The Unframed—Ellis Island project aims to bring alive the memory of Ellis Island, the entry point to America for millions of immigrants. Coming from all over the world, leaving their belongings, their family and their past behind them, with the fear that they may be sent back to it, the presence of these people who have shaped the modern American identity can still be felt in the buildings, although abandoned for the past 70 years. This is the opportunity to interpret the stories of these people through art.
JR’s exhibit lives in the abandoned Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, on the south side of the island. Archival photographs of the hospital’s patients and staff were artistically wheat-pasted around the abandoned hospital complex of Ellis Island’s south side, creating haunting scenes that bring the history of these rooms back to life.
Thanks for looking