Starting this weekend, Untapped New York, in partnership with Save Ellis Island, will offer behind-the-scenes hard hat tours of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital every Sunday! These special access tours on the lesser-traveled side of Ellis Island are led by expert Save Ellis Island docents and include exclusive access to spaces that are usually closed off to the public. You can book your tickets now for a Saturday or Sunday tour!

Ellis Island Hard Hat

This 90-minute experience, limited to just six people per tour, will take you into the abandoned rooms of the now-defunct Ellis Island hospital complex. The compound, which has been shuttered for more than sixty years, has served many uses throughout its history. In the beginning, it was an innovative hospital that set the standard for United States medical care, then it served as a base for the U.S. Coast Guard, and eventually was used as an FBI detention center.

tour guests walking inside ellis island hospital

As you walk in the footsteps of immigrants who came through the hospital more than a hundred years ago, you will explore the laundry building, contagious disease wards, autopsy rooms, staff house, and other areas of the site. Along the way, you will notice eerie, life-sized images from the historical archives of Ellis Island pasted on the walls, windows, doors, floors, and furniture. These haunting images are part of a site-specific exhibition titled “Unframed – Ellis Island” by world-renowned artist JR.

Untapped New York’s partner in presenting these tours, Save Ellis Island, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise the funds needed to rehabilitate and repurpose the twenty-nine historic buildings on the south side of Ellis Island for a new and exciting purpose. Your tickets directly contribute to the restorations efforts, so thank you!

Behind-the-scenes hard hat tours of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital now run every Saturday at 12pm and 2pm and every Sunday at 2pm ET. Tour tickets include tickets to the ferry that will shuttle you to and from Ellis Island. Check out some more photos from this tour below and book your tickets now!

Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of Ellis Island’s Abandoned Hospital Complex and Ellis Island’s Dark Past as a Detention Center for Japanese During WWII