Abandoned Ellis Island Southside Hospitals

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Ellis Island was the United States government’s premiere immigration inspection station between 1892-1954, during America’s open door policy regarding immigration. A little known fact: not only can you access Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty from Jersey City, over half of Ellis Island is actually in Jersey City as well.

In a landmark Supreme Court case in May 1998, it was decided that Liberty Island and the original part of Ellis Island belonged to New York. The tear drop shape footprint of the natural island prior to extension is directly underneath where the museum stands today. The Island was enlarged before the first immigration station was built (which isn’t the one standing today), then again in 1902 for the first portion of the immigrant hospital, and in 1909 for the second. Any new land created in those waters belonged to New Jersey, a decision confirmed in 1998.

While most are familiar with the main immigration museum on Ellis Island, the abandoned hospitals on the southside of the island is a must-visit. Docents of the non-profit foundation Save Ellis Island run tours of the abandoned hospital in partnership with Untapped Cities for a truly behind-the-scenes tour with access to places not normally seen by the general public. See our schedule for tour dates offered. To access the Islands, visitors must board the ferries leaving from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, and Battery Park in New York City.

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

Liberty Science Center


The Liberty Science Center is a private and state funded interactive children’s science museum in Jersey City. It provides a universal, global and local perspective on science, technology and engineering, and is home to the largest IMAX dome in the country. In addition, the museum has exhibits focused on skyscrapers because of its proximity to large cities, as well as an entire estuary lab about Hudson River’s ecology.

The Liberty Science Center is expanding in the next several years to include “Sci Tech City,” a science-focused public high school, which will offer rental space for science or tech start ups; it will also partner with Liberty State Park to promote and conduct nature education on site.

Location: Located at the Liberty State Park light rail stop or via the New Jersey Turnpike. Take the 33rd Street Path train to Newport station, walk across street to the Hudson-Bergen light rail towards West Side Ave.