|The Registry Room at Ellis Island. |
Notice the Gustavino tiles.
My own grandfather, Joseph Roselli, emigrated from Italy circa 1920. After his mother died, my grandfather traveled with his brother and father, almost a century ago. His father left he and his brother in Detroit to make a living for themselves in the States. The father returned to the old country to remarry.
I felt a shock of emotion when I walked into the registry room. My grandfather waited in this grand room, designed by the Gustavino brothers, the same brothers who designed the old City Hall subway station, and thousands of tiles scattered through the New York City subway system.
Be sure to explore the individual stations where immigrants had to pass through: the medical rooms, the legal hearing halls, and the on-site dining halls. An added plus is the installation of audio samplings from immigrants who tell their individual stories.