Ellis Island: Ferry Building – New York NY


“This building was designed and carried out by the Public Buildings Branch of the Procurement Division for the Immigration Service of the Department of Labor and constitutes one unit of a large project to improve ferry facilities at Ellis Island. The building has two one-story wings and consists of a high central pavilion surmounted by a copper covered cupola. The central pavilion houses a waiting room for the immigrants, the left wing is devoted to the Customs Service, and the right wing has a lunch room with kitchen facilities. The construction is fireproof throughout, with a steel frame and reinforced-concrete floor and roof slabs, the exterior walls being of brick trimmed with stone. The structure has concrete spread footings and rests on wood piles. The P.W.A. allotment of $471,914 included also a building for incoming immigrants and the remodeling of other structures. The ferryhouse was completed in January 1936 at an estimated cost of $133,000.”
(Short and Brown)

The ferry terminal and most of the other buildings on the island fell into disrepair after Ellis Island ceased operations in the 1950s. Ellis Island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965. In April 2007, the newly restored ferry building was re-opened. Many other buildings on the island have not yet been restored.

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

"The New Deal: A 75th Anniversary Celebration." Kathryn Flynn with Richard Polese.
C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).
Historic Ellis Island structure reopening - USA Today

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Location Info

Ellis Island
New York, NY

Location notes:

Coordinates: 40.6993906, -74.0415341

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