Hard Hat Tours
Individual Public Tours
Guided 90-minute tours will take you to select areas of the 750-bed Ellis Island Hospital. Visit the Laundry Building, with much of its original equipment still in place, where over 3000 pieces of laundry were washed and sanitized daily, infectious and contagious disease wards, kitchen, staff housing, autopsy room and more.
As part of the tour opening, an art exhibit, “Unframed – Ellis Island,” by renowned artist JR will be on display throughout the hospital complex. The exhibit features life size historic photographs of Ellis Island immigrants. JR, the recipient of the prestigious TED Prize, is known throughout the world for his “Pervasive Art” exhibitions which are designed to raise questions.
Don’t forget to bring your camera. You may even catch a ghostly image looking back. This experience is one you won’t want to miss!
Tours are available seven days a week – Sunday through Saturday. Daily Tour Schedule:
- 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
- 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m
- 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Purchase your Public Tour “Hard Hat Reserve Tickets” through Statue Cruises, the ferry concession to the monument.
Private Group Tours
Private Tours of the Ellis Island Hospital for Schools, family get-togethers, clubs, corporate events and friends groups may be scheduled at your convenience. Special interest groups are welcome – history, literature, art, architecture or photography, we are ready to schedule your tour with one of our excellent guides. By reservation only. Call 201-332-8485 ext 1 to reserve your private tour.
School Tours and Programs
Save Ellis Island works with universities and grade schools throughout the United States. We provide a venue for students to learn and ask questions. History, preservation, architecture, medicine, art and culture are all part of the Ellis Island story. Ask us about our special school programs for grades 8 through 12. By reservation only. Call 201-332-8485 ext 1 to discuss and reserve your school tour.
Current Exhibit: Unframed-Ellis Island
By renowned artist JR will be on display throughout the hospital complex. The exhibit features life size historic photographs of Ellis Island immigrants installed on 16 interior walls. JR, the recipient of the prestigious TED Prize, is known throughout the world for his “Pervasive Art” exhibitions which are designed to raise questions.
The accompanying book the Ghosts of Ellis Island is available for purchase in our on-line shop
Watch JR discuss the exhibition Un-Framed-Ellis Island in this video produced by Art-net
Above: Marc Azoulay, curator of Un-Framed – Ellis Island, led a special tour of the exhibition in its entirety this past October.
Important information about the tour:
- All participants must be 13 years of age or older. Participants under the age 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times during the tour.
- These un-restored buildings do not comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements at this time. Participants must be able to climb stairs. We regret that visitors with wheelchairs or scooters are not permitted on the tour at this time.
- Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Sandals, flip-flops, open-toed shoes and high heels are not permitted.
To learn more or to reserve a tour email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (201) 332-8485 x1.
The “Hard Hat Tour” is a program developed and administered by Save Ellis Island. All proceeds from the tour will go to the restoration and preservation of the unrestored historic south side buildings.
From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants entered USA through the portal of Ellis Island in New York Harbor
We are part of America's story
Ellis Island tells the story of the journey of millions of men, women and children from around the world who sought a new future on these shores.
Walking around these buildings we're not just talking about history-visitors are able to touch, feel, and understand in a way that connects them to the past. As we rebuild parts of Ellis Island, we are rebuilding its legacy and revitalizing living landmarks to a world gone by. Save Ellis Island is working to create a destination that echoes the beacon of hope that it once was for nearly twelve million immigrants and continues to be for the nearly two million visitors each year.
The Save Ellis Island website is made possible by a generous donation from Heidi Liebi Root in memory of her father Fred Liebi