Friday, 27 March 2015

Ellis Island: Gateway to New York

Thanks to NYC & Co, when visiting New York in September Narrelle Harris and I were able to take the popular cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Lady Liberty was a sight for sore eyes, it's true...


... but we decided not to disembark at Liberty Island. The statue looked pretty good from on deck, but what we were really interested in visiting was the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island:


From 1892 to 1954, this island was the major clearance station for immigrants entering the United States, processing some 12 million arrivals in that period.

Despite its significant role in the nation's growth, after its closure the island and its facilities were left to slowly deteriorate. Finally, decades later in 1990, the building was restored and opened as a museum.

It's a great place to visit, with interesting exhibits dotted through its many rooms and its lofty Great Hall:


One of the more unusual exhibits which fascinated me was a series of glass cases containing decayed fixtures and fittings, found in the building prior to restoration:





Ellis Island is a great New York City experience. Without this place, the city would never have become the diverse hotch-potch of cultures it is today; a thought worth remembering in our sometimes paranoid modern times.

Disclosure: I visited Ellis Island with the assistance of NYC & Co. Check out its official guide to New York City's attractions at NYCgo.com.