History buffs and fans of American Horror Story will love the chipped paint and cracked porcelain sinks, the stained tiles and rusting hospital beds in the halls of the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital—open to visitors today for the first time in 60 years.
Thanks to a gentle restoration (the building was cleaned and inspected, though nothing was done to refurbish the interiors), visitors seeking an adventurous side of New York can don their hard hats and explore the vacant halls.
Before it was shuttered in 1954, this 750-bed hospital treated 1.2 million immigrants. It was a first-class medical institution with an unparalleled view of the Statue of Liberty.
To honor the reopening of the hospital complex, French street-artist JR has installed enlarged photographs of the patients and hospital workers who once occupied the space: life-size portraits of immigrating children can be seen on the remants of broken glass windows, while nurses are superimposed onto a row of lockers.
The exhibt, Unframed - Ellis Island is designed to fade away naturally, over time.
Ticket sales from the 90-minute guided tours will support the non-profit organization, Save Ellis Island, resposible for resurecting this historic landmark.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.