The South Side of Ellis Island
The Conservancy was pleased to offer its members an exclusive, “behind-the-scenes” tour of the south side of Ellis Island. This area is generally not open to the public except by special arrangement. The 29 structures on the south side are in severe states of decay and have been empty and abandoned since 1954. For more than a decade, the Conservancy has been instrumental in leading efforts to preserve and restore these vacant buildings. Stabilization funds have been secured from Congress, the State of New Jersey, and the National Park Service. The south side hospital and administration buildings now have been stabilized and stabilization of the contagious disease wards is underway.
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Throughout the year, Circle tours go behind-the-scenes of some of New York’s most interesting historic properties. Some tours require hard hats to visit projects during restoration, while others showcase completed restorations of commercial buildings, residences, museums, churches, and synagogues. On occasion, conservators, engineers, and craftspeople open their studios to our Circle members.