Visit The Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital While You Can!

One of my all-time, hands-down, most favorite places to explore in New York City is the abandoned hospital complex on Ellis Island. Normally off-limits to the public, tours are suddenly being offered for the first time in 60 years, and I highly, highly suggest you go while the opportunity exists.


I wrote about my first visit a few years ago. I’ve since been back several times for additional scouting trips, and I never get tired of walking through the eerily silent hallways and rooms of the abandoned 29-building complex. Below, a few of my favorite pictures…





Tours are being offered to allow the public to experience French artist JR’s new site-specific installation “Unframed – Ellis Island,” in which historic images from the island’s past have been overlaid onto its crumbling walls and broken windows. Here’s an example from a recent NY Times article on the project – the effect is beautifully haunting.


Joshua Bright / NY Times

Tours are small (just ten in a group – hard hats provided!) and will take visitors on a tour of several buildings, as well as the grounds.

Best of all, proceeds from the tours will go to the Save Ellis Island project, which has been working tirelessly for years to stabilize the buildings. Tickets can be purchased here. If you’re a Scouting NY fan and are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience – perfect for the month of October! – I promise you will not forget this.


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  1. Been a fan of your site for years, love your work! As soon as I heard about this, we got tickets for the first available Saturday, which at the time (a few weeks ago) was mid-November. So if anyone wants to go, go quickly!

  2. Was this once Bird S. Collor Hospital? (not sure of the spelling)

  3. Hey Nick. I’ve been a huge fan of your site! Keep up the awesome articles. The south side of Ellis Island is an awesome place to visit. I’ve been there several times and it’s always an amazing experience. I wrote about it on my blog.

  4. Love Ellis Island – wish I could take this tour! Thanks Scout!

  5. Ellis Island Reject

    Always enjoy your posts! Thank you!

    A video about the tours from the NYC CBS affiliate:

  6. Marvelous, what a website it is! This website provides helpful
    facts to us, keep it up.

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  8. My Grandmother came to Ellis when she was 3! Couldnt find her name on the records. We went there a few years ago and I loved it! Wish I could go back and tour the hospital! I hope we can keep this piece of our history alive for many many years to come!

  9. We just saw the North Island this weekend. Sorry we didn’t get tickets to tour the hospital while we can. Next year.