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Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital

First opened in 1902 with 120 beds, Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital was intended to protect the American populace from the myriad of diseases plaguing its patients. Its capacity was expanded by 275, then another 450 to keep up with the overwhelming sea of intakes. It was the most advanced hospital of its time, with an 8 cadaver refrigerator, 4 laboratories, an autoclave so large it could sterilize entire mattresses, and an autopsy theater where visiting physicians and students could study the pathology of exotic diseases. Though not without its flaws, by most accounts treatment was humane and many recovered from their illnesses and went on to become American citizens.

It was closed after immigration policy took a xenophobic turn following World War I; it was last used as a hospital in 1930. If you would like to see more about the restoration effort or contribute to it, visit Save Ellis Island here.

Photographs and text by Matthew Christopher. For more images click the thumbnails below.
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Blackened Windows
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | into the light
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Exit
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Autopsy Theater
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Autopsy Theater Sink
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | worlds die in them
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | imperishable
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Central Hallway
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | i shall emerge one day
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | dying hymn
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | a delightful hiding place
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | this perished heart
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Taped Off Stairwell
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Recovery
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Serpentine
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Skylight
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Nesting Doorways
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Furnaces
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Entryways
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Statue of Liberty View
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Apothecary
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Curved Hallway
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Bird's Eye View
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Caged Stairs
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Bathroom
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Gloomy
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Do Not Enter
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital | Tub