Ellis Island Reopens to Visitors and Events
By Matt Alderton
October 24, 2013
Closed for the past year due to damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, Ellis Island Immigration Museum will reopen to the public on Monday, Oct. 28, the National Parks Service announced yesterday.
The museum, which is available as a venue for special events, was submerged in water along with the rest of Ellis Island when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012. The storm surge destroyed electrical, communications, heating and cooling systems, forcing the museum — as well as the Statue of Liberty on nearby Liberty Island, which reopened July 4 — to close for repairs.
Although the museum will be open, repairs will continue through the spring, encompassing an entirely new electrical system, as well as a new air-conditioning system for climate control of the park’s historical documents and artifacts, most of which are currently stored in a climate-controlled facility in Maryland while repairs continue.
“We are delighted to be able to once again share with the world America’s story here on Ellis Island,” Superintendent David Luchsinger said in a statement. “The best way to celebrate Lady Liberty’s 127th birthday is to welcome visitors back to the place where those ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ first came to our shores.”
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Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island. Open areas on the first and second floors of the museum will include the Great Hall, where immigrants were inspected, and the American Immigrant Wall of Honor on the east side of the island. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/elis/index.htm