Jon Crispin's Notebook

Ellis Island Autopsy Room

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, History by joncrispin on 09/03/2012

I spent a lot of time in the Contagious Disease Hospital wing at Ellis Island on Wednesday.  The wards were set up much like a lot of the Kirkbride asylums in which I have photographed.  Some large ward rooms and some smaller single patient rooms.  This photo is from the autopsy room.  I took a shot from the lower angle which you can see below.

It is quite an evocative space.

Ellis Island

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Construction, History by joncrispin on 08/03/2012

I had the rarest of opportunities yesterday.  Pieper is giving a presentation on Ellis Island about the construction of the original buildings and he had me come out with him to take photographs to illustrate his talk.  It was an incredible day, and I was mostly in a state of near rapture.  I have always wanted to photograph the unrestored buildings on the island and am so grateful to Pieper and  Darcy Hartman of Save Ellis Island for the chance.  This photograph was taken in what I believe is called the Doctor’s (or Surgeon’s) residence.  I’ll post more in the days to come.  Here is some information on the talk: “The Actual Bricks and Mortar Story; Building Ellis Island’s Hospitals”.  10.30 to 12.30 on 15 April, 2012.  It is open to the public but limited to 50 participants.  For information, email    For anyone interested in these buildings this is a unique chance to don a hardhat and take a tour of the usually off limits parts of the island.

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