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).
October 8, 2007 -
The Encampment was a 100 tent installation which stood for three nights on Manhattan's Roosevelt Island. Each tent was designed by a different contributor under the supervision of artist Thom Sokoloski. This massive installation focused on the dark history of the island, when it was known as Blackwell Island and Welfare Island, detailing its days as lunatic asylum, a prison and a ward for abandoned babies. The Encampment stood at the southern tip of the island, next to the abandoned smallpox hospital and across the East River from the United Nations.
For more photo essays from New York's half-abandoned islands, please visit Ellis Island: South Side (2007) and Governors Island: Manhattan's Ghost Town (2011).