The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is located on a small island next to the Statue of Liberty, in front of Liberty Park. The Ellis Island Museum reuses the main building of the former National Immigration Station Complex previously known as the “Gateway to America“. From 1892 to 1954 over 12 million immigrants, coming from all over the world, entered the United States through the doors of Ellis Island, settling the ethnic and cultural roots for almost half of America’s population.
The buildings and the Ellis Island have evolved significantly over the years. This island was continuously enlarged with landfill, renovations and new buildings to process over 5,000 immigrants per day. On the second floor of the museum, there are some detailed scale models and original plans which show the different phases of the evolution of the island and the Immigration Complex.
The Registry Room (present Main Hall) features a beautiful tile arch ceiling – The Guastavino Ceiling – designed and carried out by Rafael Guastavino and his son, both of whom immigrated from Spain in 1881. The Guastavinos specialized constructing self-supporting tile arches and they developed their system in the construction of factories in Barcelona and then patented the construction system in the United States.
Main Hall, former Registry Roo
New York and New Jersey as seen from the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands
To visit the Liberty and Ellis islands there is a ferry service that departures from both, New Jersey and New York. The tickets are around 18 to 21 dollars depending on the package and an audio tour is included with each ferry ticket. I strongly recommend to visit this museum and if you have time you can also visit the Statue of Liberty with the same ticket.