October 31st, 2007 -
The south side of Ellis Island is currently a network of abandoned buildings. This part of the island once housed contagious, pregnant and psychotic immigrants. It was home to isolation wards, measles wards, the morgue and an operating ampitheater, all connected by a series of linked passageways. These buildings have been "vacant and deteriorating" for the last 53 years and are in a state of "controlled ruin" like Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary.
Ellis Island's south side is now facing a redevelopment. Plans range from creating a bed and breakfast near a measles ward to leaving the buildings in a permanent state of decay. The National Parks Service states that their preferred alternative would be to create an "Ellis Island Institute with Overnight Accommodations." For more information on this redevelopment plan, see The National Park's Development Concepts for Ellis Island.
For more photo essays from New York's half-abandoned islands, please visit The Encampment on Roosevelt Island (2007) and Governors Island: Manhattan's Ghost Town (2011).