$100m for expansion of New York’s Ellis Island migrant museum

Image courtesy of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation
The Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation is to spend $100m on the refurbishment and extension of a museum that recalls the history of migration to New York.

The 34-year-old, 137,000 sq ft Ellis Island Museum preserves the island’s history as a processing centre for European migrants.

The upgrade will add 100,000 sq ft of exhibition space across three floors. There will also be a temporary exhibition area and interactive attractions. The building’s structure will also be strengthened and its accessibility improved.

The improvements will allow the museum’s 2 million annual visitors to have a more modern and immersive experience.

John Piltzecker, Ellis Island’s superintendent, said: “The island was the gateway to the American Dream for millions of immigrants in search of a better life in the US for themselves and their descendants.

“The National Park Service is grateful to our partners at the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation for supporting the restoration of this iconic building and helping to share the countless stories of hope and triumph associated with it.”

The National Park Service estimates that 40% of the US population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island.

Work on the project is due to be completed in 2026. The museum will remain open during that time.

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