Hard Hat Tours

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Hard Hat Tours

Closed for over 60 years, the historic Ellis Island Hospital Complex is now open for guided tours. The 90-minute tour takes you through select buildings and grounds of the hospital.


Tickets purchased for our Hard Hat Tours in our shop are Tour Tickets only, to travel to Ellis Island, Ferry Tickets are sold separately on Statue City Cruises’ website, under ticket option, select: General Admission

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Contagion sometimes found a home in the crowded third class sections of ocean liners, with new immigrants arriving on Ellis Island with measles, tuberculosis, influenza, and a variety of other ailments.  Others left their ports of departure with any number of health or medical conditions ranging from pregnancy to injuries to mental illness.

Anyone identified by the medical inspectors as unhealthy upon arrival would not be allowed to enter the country and would find themselves in the hospital complex.  Here they were cared for in what was, in its day, a state-of-the-art complex.

In a place full of hope for a better life, the hospital buildings were islands of both sorrow and redemption.

Ted Roth

A sense of both is evoked in the remarkable images pasted in the rooms and hallways, part of the current exhibit by French artist JR, titled Unframed—Ellis Island. The images draw visitors into a world that no longer exists. Rooms filled with quiet anticipation, the massive steel doors of the long silent autoclave, broken windows, half-open walls capture the stories of the Ellis Island Hospital, and the 1.2 million immigrants treated there.

“Fantastic tour - Our guide Barbara was really passionate and really good at sharing her knowledge - So amazing to discover all the JR art pieces along the visit as well - Thanks for this great experience!” ~ J. Dumas 

Hard Hat Tour Tickets