Ellis Island was the busiest immigration screening and processing facility in the country. It is an Island in New York Harbor that belongs to both by the United States states of New Jersey and New York. Nearly 12 million immigrants who arrived at the Port of New York and the New Jersey were processed thereby federal law between 1892 and 1954. It is now a component of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. It is only reachable by ferry for the general public. Moreover, the main structure, currently a national museum of Immigration, is located in the island’s northern part. Only the guided tours are available for the public to access the island’s southern portion, which includes only the Immigrant Hospital.

Ellis Island housed Fort Gibson in the 19th century, and it later transformed into a naval depot. The first inspection station opened in 1892 and fell apart by fire in 1897. The second station, which featured lots of facilities for the medical quarantines and for processing immigrants, finally opened its doors in 1900. After 1924, the Island is using as a migrant holding area. The U.S. military also used its facilities to hold prisoners of war during both World Wars I and II. After the immigration station was shut down, the buildings stood empty for a while before being partially shut down in 1976. In 1990, the central system and surrounding buildings underwent a comprehensive renovation.

Ellis Island

In Upper New York Bay, Ellis Island is east of Liberty State Park and north of Liberty Island. A tiny portion of the island is an exclave of New York City, but most of it is in Jersey City, New Jersey. A large part of the island’s 27.5 acres (11.1 hectares) of land was reclaimed. The natural island and its surroundings make up 4.68 acres (1.89 hectares) of New York. The natural island is situate on the northernmost point of the current island. The artificial area is a portion of New Jersey. The island owned and administered by the United States federal government since 1808. The National Park Service has been in charge of it since 1965.

The present island has a “C” shape, with two equal-sized landmasses on its northeastern and southwesterly sides, split by what was once a ferry dock. Initially, there were three distinct islands. The original island and the surrounding fill are located on the present north side, Island 1. Isles 2, constructed in 1899, and 3, created in 1906, comprise the south side. The three numbered landmasses separated by two ferry docks that faced east.


Two ferry slips on the northern side of the basin divide the Island. The Statue of Liberty National Monument is free to see; however, using the boat service has a payment. In 2007, Statue Cruises received a concession to run the transport and ticketing facilities instead of Circle Line, which had run the service since 1953. The Liberty State Park in Jersey City and the Battery in Lower Manhattan are the departure points for the boats. The “Hard Hat Tour” program of the NPS also includes guided public excursions of the south side.

During the island’s rehabilitation in the late 1980s, a bridge to Liberty State Park constructed in 1986. This bridge enables the transportation of supplies and workers. After construction was complete, they planned to destroyed in 1992 but they left standing. There is no public access to it. The city of New York and the island’s private ferry operator have opposed plans to utilize it or swap it out for a pedestrian bridge. A 1995 U.S. House of Representatives resolution to build a new pedestrian bridge to New Jersey was defeated. Any attempt to turn the bridge into a pedestrian walkway would necessitate upgrades, it needs to be more sturdy to be considered a permanent bridge.


The ferry building is located in New Jersey, near the westernmost point of the ferry basin. The ferry landing was erecting in 1936, making it the third to occupy the location. It has a steel-and-concrete structure with a red brick façade in Flemish bond with Modern architectural decoration composed of limestone and terracotta. Except for a two-story center part capped by a hip roof and dome, the central pavilion of the structure is essentially one story high. To the north and south, there represent two east-west oriented rectangular wings. U.S. Customs initially occupied the south wing, while the north wing housed a lunchroom and facilities. To the east of the ferry building is a wooden dock. The hospital is to the south and the kitchen and laundry are to the north of the ferry building, respectively, and are connecting by covered walkways. The building had a thorough restoration in 2007.