The abandoned Ellis Island Hospital—once the standard for United States medical care—has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Now, we’re taking you back inside to visit select parts of the facilities, from its infectious and contagious disease wards to its autopsy room. On our newest tour, kicking off on April 22nd (and taking place through to the fall), we’ll visit locations exclusively accessible to Untapped Cities and not available on any other public tour of the site.
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. Looking at its desolate, skeletal frame now, it’s difficult to imagine its backstory as one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. Join us for our upcoming hard hat tour, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, where we’ll uncover its many, buried secrets.
You’ll discover buildings over 100-years-old (which have not been occupied since 1954), explore the Laundry Building, autopsy room and infectious disease wards, and see an exhibition installed by the world-renowned artist JR, who has placed life-sized historic photographs of Ellis Island immigrants on interior walls of the hospital buildings.
Price: $75 | Your ticket includes the price of the ferry to and from Ellis Island.
Getting to the ferry: To reach the site, visitors will have to board a Statue Cruises ferry, which takes off by Castle Clinton in Battery Park, lower Manhattan. Please REMAIN on the boat past the Statue of Liberty to get to Ellis Island.
What to wear: Bring closed-toe-shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as the buildings are not climate controlled.
What to know: The tour is 1.5 hours long. It will make scheduled stops for quick photographs, but tripods and unipods are not allowed. Due to the nature of the buildings, the tour is inaccessible for people using wheelchairs or powered scooters.
More photos of our tour below: