View Full Version : Restoration of NEW JERSEY'S Ellis Island!

Jersey Warren
04-03-2007, 04:51 PM
This article (from the North Jersey Newspapers, including the Bergen Record and Paterson Herald News) is significant because it highlights that most of Ellis Island is actually in New Jersey.

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDgmZmdi ZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxMDQ5NDMmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZU VFeXky

04-03-2007, 07:18 PM
Contrary to their reporting however, most of the "north side" is also New Jersey territory. Of course ALL of Ellis Island is in New Jersey since it is surrounded by New JERSEY water. Leave it to one of New Jersey's many useless governors - this one in the early 1800's - to give New Jersey land to New York. :roll:


It really annoys me that the media only gets it half right - still better than nothing - but it remains a FACT that the majority of the north side of the island s ALSO New Jersey Territory.

BTW - here is the full article on Ellis Island you posted the link for...

N.J. on verge of reopening Ellis Island 'waiting room'
The Record
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The floors, for decades hidden under densely packed dirt, now reveal the original splendor of their shiny terrazzo tiles.

Millions of feet – of the desperate, the hungry, the hopeful from around the world –walked on these floors, just before stepping onto a ferry and into a new life brimming with promise.

The newly restored Ferry Building on Ellis Island is expected to open to the public by the end of the month after sitting closed and dilapidated since 1954. It's the first of 30 buildings on the so-called south side -- which the Supreme Court declared belonged to New Jersey -- to be restored in a multi-phase project.

At an unveiling of the Ferry Building on Monday, Sen. Robert Menendez called the restoration notable "not only because these buildings stand in New Jersey's territory, but for the memory of the people who passed through them."

Until now, the only structure suitable for visitors was the Ellis Island Museum, on the New York side, which opened in 1990.

The restoration boasts ambitious work, including masonry repairs, the restoration of steel windows and the ornate lead-coated copper cupola.

The key part of the Ferry Building is the "waiting room," an airy space measuring 1,250 square feet that houses four high-backed benches, nestled in the farthest corners of the room. Two of the chairs – which are 5 feet high and 9 feet long -- are originals whose white oak wood was restored. The other two are replicas.

The room's bronze and glass light fixtures were recreated from the original architectural drawings of the building. That includes the chandelier, which weighs 180 pounds and is 4½ feet tall and 2½ feet wide. The walls were brought back to their light-cream hue.

The two rooms that flank the main waiting room also were restored. One was the lunch room, where immigrants could buy something to eat after passing their inspections; the other was used by customs officials. Now, the lunch room, with its sunny yellow walls, houses an exhibit on the several hospitals and types of health care available at the island. The exhibit includes original gurneys and medical equipment, and audio testimony from health-care workers and immigrants.

The customs room will be used for seminars, workshops and meetings, said officials from Save Ellis Island, a non-profit group that has worked with the National Park Service.

Also speaking at Monday's opening, former Gov. Christie Whitman hailed Ellis Island as an emblem of "one of the world's greatest commitments to embracing people searching for a better life."

The ceremony carried a personal resonance with Whitman, who approved a plan in 2000 to rebuild much of the south side.

As governor, she saw the U.S. Supreme Court declare in 1998 that the immigration processing center belonged largely to New Jersey. The decision was more a symbolic triumph that gave the victor bragging rights because all of Ellis Island actually remained under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Both states long had fought over claims on the island.

Whitman noted Monday that the Supreme Court had ruled that about 24 of the 27 acres "were actually in New Jersey."

Unbeknownst to most Americans, much of the gateway to the American Dream had become a nightmare.

Many of the structures had deteriorated, their instability hastened by broken doors and windows. What had long been an emblem of America's most cherished ideals – freedom, liberty, a sanctuary for the world's poor and persecuted – had become an eyesore.

Much of the place had fallen victim to pigeons, wind and rain and the bramble that covered many buildings. Decades of mold, vines, poison ivy, paint chips and bird droppings covered New Jersey's side of Ellis Island.

In its heyday, getting to the Ferry Building marked a victory for immigrants at Ellis Island, who had to pass medical and legal screenings. More than 90 percent of immigrants who arrived at the island got the green light. The ones who were rejected and sent back home had been diagnosed with a contagious disease that officials feared would endanger the public, or were deemed likely to become a public charge.

Some two-thirds of the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island and received approval to make the United States home took the ferry to destinations in New Jersey; the rest took one to lower Manhattan.

"The Ferry Building has a happy story," said Judith McAlpin, president of Save Ellis Island. "That is where the immigrant's resettling really began."

E-mail: llorente@northjersey.com
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Fast facts

• Jan. 11, 1892: Ellis Island, in New York Harbor, opens as the federal immigration processing center. Nearly half a million immigrants pass through Ellis Island the first year.

• June 15, 1897: Fire sweeps through Ellis Island, destroying all the wooden buildings, including the original ferry house.

• September 1901: A new metal-clad wooden ferry house is completed.

• January 1936: The ferry building is again replaced, with a building featuring a central pavilion that houses a waiting room and kitchen facilities. The left wing houses the customs service.

• Nov. 29, 1954: The ferry boat "Ellis Island" makes its final run, and the island is vacated.

• May 11, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson adds Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and places it under the stewardship of the National Park Service.

• Sept. 10, 1990: The Ellis Island Immigration Museum opens for visitors. The south-side buildings remain unrestored.