Positively New Jersey: Exploring the forgotten side of Ellis Island

On today's episode of "Brian's Positively New Jersey,” Brian Donohue tours the lesser-visited south side of Ellis Island where 29 unrestored buildings sit in a state of "arrested decay."

Apr 18, 2023, 2:54 AM

Updated 454 days ago

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In the 1970s and 1980s - before Ellis Island's $190 million restoration and reopening in 1990 - visitors to the landmark could tour decrepit rotting buildings that made it feel like no one had set foot inside since the last immigrant walked out.
While 3 million visitors now tour the restored landmarks like the National Immigration Museum on the island's north side, most don't realize one thing about the island - most of the buildings still look the way they did 40 years ago.
On today's episode of "Brian's Positively New Jersey,” Brian Donohue tours the lesser-visited south side of Ellis Island where 29 unrestored buildings sit in a state of "arrested decay."
For Save Ellis Island, the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service that oversees the 22-acre tract, that ghostly sense of abandonment is a selling point in their efforts to attract more visitors on their guided tours.
As Donohue attests, it also adds to the goosebumps-inducing feeling that the echoes of so many human stories are still alive inside the halls.
Click HERE to book a tour.


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