There are few places that symbolize the American Dream and are so deeply connected to the history of the United States of America as Ellis Island.
From 1892 to 1954, nearly 12 million immigrants arrived at the shore of New York City hoping to find a better life in this new world. They all went through Elli Island ancious and excited to hear if they have been admitted to trying their luck and build their fortune and make America the place it is today. Many were given the chance to start off fresh. For a lot of people, though, Ellis Island was the closest they would ever come to fullfilling their American Dream.
This place full of stories of hope and excitement, crushed dreams and despair is now a museum which you can access by ferry. Besides the national museum of immigration, you can also visit the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital through guided tours. This is where this photo was taken. French street artist JR used photos of the people working at Ellis island when it was still an immigration center to let the abandoned hospital come to life again.
When you see these pictures scattered all over the place you can almost feel the place come to life again, how it is haunted by people and their stories.
JR directed the short film called “Ellis” starring Robert De Niro which was filmed at the hospital as well. I cannot recommend watching it more to get both a glimpse into the past of this place and what it meant for immigrants to arrive their as well as the atmosphere this place transports today.