2. Ellis Island South Side Hospitals

JR work on Ellis Island hospitalPassageway around an open air circular courtyard as seen on the Untapped Cities Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital. Photo by James and Karla Photography.

Hiding in plain sight, the abandoned South Side Hospitals on Ellis Island were one of the largest public health undertakings in US history. While Ellis Island has become one of New York City’s top tourist attractions, drawing over two million visitors per year, the 22-building South Side hospital complex is hidden in plain sight, just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall.

After immigration restriction laws shut down Ellis Island as a port of entry, the complex was left to decay for nearly 60 years. Looking at its desolate, skeletal frame now, it’s difficult to imagine that it was once the standard for United States medical care and one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. See more photographs of the amazing buildings and crumbling interiors.