Ellis Island, The Past
For three decades, from 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island was the Gateway to America, a place that welcomed millions of immigrants to this country. Those who came were forever grateful to be given their chance in America.
It was an uncertain journey that brought people to these shores. Often leaving behind loved ones, with hopes only for new freedoms and economic opportunity, it was these immigrants whose tireless hunger to succeed fueled the nation’s new Industrial Revolution and made this country what it is today.
Ellis Island remained open until 1954, but in actuality it was in 1924, thirty years before, when the great wave of immigration ended. Practically abandoned in 1954, Ellis Island slowly began to deteriorate. Repeated efforts to save the historic structures never took root and there were fears that the buildings would eventually be destroyed. But in the 1980s The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior, began the fundraising and work that would ensure the renovation and preservation of Ellis Island’s Main Immigration Building.
By 1990, the largest restoration project in American history was successfully completed, and the Foundation and National Park Service presented the new Ellis Island Immigration Museum to the American people.
Ellis Island, The Present
Ellis Island and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum are one of New York’s most popular tourist attractions and a cultural gem among the National Park Service’s many great Parks. It is also this country’s finest museum documenting America’s golden age of immigration, during which millions of hopeful people arrived from the Old World to the New, via Ellis Island and the port of New York. Today, nearly two million people visit this National Monument every year! Make the trip yourself and see why a visit to Ellis Island is one of life’s great treasures, a memorable and moving testament to the hope America stands for.