Saturday, January 16, 2016

Eerie Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital (24 Pics)

Hospitals can be scary places. Whether you’re sick or well, they are often associated with fear and an eerie sense of foreboding.

Surely the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, once a place where people too ill to enter the U.S. were sent to recover, represented unease for the tens of millions of immigrants who passed through the island. All individuals were subject to brutal medical exams upon arrival at Ellis Island.

The hospital was left abandoned in 1954. But, hard-hat tours allow visitors to view selected areas of the crumbling and decrepit hospital.

The 29-building medical complex opened in 1902, was the largest public health institution in America at the time, treating more than 10,000 patients. It operated as a hospital till 1932 and was left to rot when the immigration station closed in 1954.

Neglected for years, the hospital’s crumbling structures were vulnerable to the elements. “Weather plays a significant role in how abandoned structures decay over time,” said meteorolgist Chris Dolce. “As the structure deteriorates, rainfall entering the building can cause extensive water damage, including significant flooding. Buildings not maintained on the exterior are vulnerable to effects of acid rain.”

When Ellis Island’s Main Building was restored and turned into an immigration museum in 1990, the hospital, which is located on the island’s south side, still remained abandoned. It wasn’t until October when officials opened the battered buildings for public viewing.

“Even though much of the hospital equipment is no longer here, these special buildings are able to speak volumes,” said John Piltzecker the superintendent of the Statue of LIberty National Monument and Ellis Island told Caters News. “The National Park Service is pleased to work with Save Island in their efforts to bring visitors to the South Side to learn about the island’s unique story through this special tour program.”

The tours take visitors the complex’s large hospital wards, kitchens, laundry facilities, morgues and other selected areas.

“The tour is for history buffs and especially photography lovers,” said photographer Gordon Donovan, who snapped the eerie photos. “The fading colors of the interiors, corroding machinery, metal stairs and doors, strong textures and challenging lighting are wonderful photography experiences.”


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