Ellis Island is quite the interesting destination, one half of the island is well kept while the other half is slowly fading away. Thankfully, My parents and I were able to go on a hard hat tour of the unrestored contagious disease ward since it is still safe enough to explore. Of course my mother, who is a nurse, clutched her purse like an old virus was going to mug her during the tour.
There is an eerie feeling as you walk along the corridor and face the split between the general hospital and contagious disease ward. It is one thing to read about historic sites like Ellis Island but to see these buildings in person really sends chills down your spine. The man leading our tour was actually a descendant of someone that passed through Ellis Island so he included stories that his grandfather passed to him.
Who knew that the Ellis Island hospital was such a trendsetter? Due to their protocols, there were no records of any nurse or physician dying while helping the poor souls within the contagious disease ward. Tragically, Ellis Island suffered at the hands of a city that didn’t want to care for it until the late eighties to early nineties. The years of neglect Ellis endured is evident when you look out the windows in the wards and see nature slowly creeping in.
For ninety minutes, we were pulled into a world of history and heard about the fight to save Ellis Island from literally falling apart. It is truly heartbreaking that the general hospital has become so dangerous that they do not believe it can be salvaged. walking into the empty and worn down rooms and looking at the gorgeous murals, created by artist JR (click here to go to his website), really left a lasting impact. It is time to save Ellis Island before one of the most important pieces of American History is lost.
Next time you go to Ellis Island, take the hard hat tour and learn about the fight of history vs. nature while admiring the beauty of what was left behind.
Fun Fact: The Muralist, JR, used photos from the archives and used a material that will naturally fade away so it won’t hurt the buildings!
Here is a slideshow of some of my favorite photos I took while going on the hard hat tour!
Go support me on Patreon to see even more haunting photos as well! Click here!
If you are interested in going on a hard hat tour visit the Statue of Liberty Cruise ticket website here to learn more about this one of a kind experience!
Want to help Save Ellis Island? Go visit their website here!