Ghosts of Ellis Island
From the 1954 until the mid 1980's, Ellis Island sat abandoned, left to decay. Beginning in 1976, tourists were taken on a limited tour of the main building, but most of the island and its buildings were dangerous and off-limits. Prior to the opening of the Ellis Island Museum, most tourists were far more interested in going to the Statue of Liberty than in seeing this forgotten national landmark.
In 1982, I was allowed to explore the restricted portions of Ellis Island. I wandered through this ghostly realm, among the overgrown, crumbling structures, aware of the thousands that had been detained here and the great historical migration of the millions of immigrants that had come before me.
What I found and photographed was a lost world; a world inhabited by the ghosts of Ellis Island.