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To raise the funds necessary to rehabilitate, restore and put to beneficial reuse the currently deteriorated and unused buildings of Ellis Island, located primarily on its south side.
Although the National Park Service restored the main Registry Building and opened it to the public as the Immigration Museum in 1990, thirty other buildings on Ellis Island remained empty and unused from the time the Island ceased operation as an immigration station in 1954. These buildings were the U.S. Public Health Service hospitals that treated 1.2 million sick and infirm immigrants upon their arrival. After a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1998 awarded 22.5 of the 27.5 acres of Ellis Island to the state of New Jersey in 1998, the fate of those buildings changed. Following a state-initiated study, including public input, a New Jersey force formed Save Ellis Island, Inc. in 2000 as the non-profit partner of the National Park Service, with the goal of raising the funds necessary to restore the hospital buildings for the public's benefit in a manner that would be financially sustainable.