Our popular behind-the-scenes hard hat tour of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital in partnership with Save Ellis Island is in full swing for the rest of the year! With small group sizes, this special off-limits experience is a safe, combined outdoor-indoor activity to do while staying in New York City that also includes a roundtrip ferry ride to Ellis Island and Liberty Island and access to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The 90-minute tour will take guests into the abandoned hospital complex on Ellis Island’s lesser-traveled south side. As you walk in the footsteps of immigrants who were there a hundred years ago, you will explore the laundry building, contagious disease wards, autopsy rooms, staff house, and other areas of the site that have been closed off for more than sixty years. While exploring the buildings, you will also see several life-size photographs of immigrants pasted on the walls of the abandoned buildings. These haunting images are part of an exhibition titled “Unframed – Ellis Island” by renowned artist JR. This tour is led by a Save Ellis Island Docent. Book your tickets now!

Ellis Island abandoned hospital

Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour

Ellis Island view of Statue of LIberty

Tour Highlights:

  • Exclusive hard hat tour inside the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital led by a Save Ellis Island docent
  • Access buildings usually off-limits to the public
  • Discover the history of this hospital, once the standard for the U.S. medical care and abandoned since 1954
  • See what life was like in the hospital as you explore the laundry building, contagious disease wards, autopsy rooms, staff house and more
  • Round trip ferry tickets (from Manhattan or NJ) and access to the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration are included in your tickets
  • Small group size and COVID-19 safety measures observed

Photos from this Tour:

The 29-building South Side hospital complex is hidden in plain sight, just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall on Ellis Island. 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, once the standard for United States medical care. After the hospital shut down, the site was transformed into a US Coast Guard base and used as an FBI detention center. It has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Join us for our upcoming Ellis Island hospital tour, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, where we will uncover the many buried secrets of this storied site!

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!

Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour

Next, check out more walking tours from Untapped New York and The Top 10 Secrets of Ellis Island’s Abandoned Hospital