Kingston Lounge photographer and urban explorer, "Richard Nickel, Jr.," recently got inside the abandoned Baggage and Dormitory Building on Ellis Island, and has returned with a dark history lesson as well as a nice spread of photos from the inside.
He explains: "The Baggage and Dormitory building, located on the North side of the island, was the epicenter of detention for non-medical cases for almost half a century." The building was a bit of a rush job, and was built when space was needed for non-medical detentions—it opened in 1909 and was built under Commissioner Robert Watchorn. "This new building was much simpler, architecturally speaking, than most of the other buildings on Ellis Island; this spoke both to the haste with which it was put up and to the intended future use of the building. While the principal use of the building would be the detention of suspected undesirables until a board could convene to decide whether to deport them, a secondary use was the storage of immigrants' luggage while they went through the admissions lines."
The building was completely abandoned in 1954, but was vacant for a while before that, and Kingston Lounge brings up the idea of reopening it as part of the the Ellis Island National Monument. Click through for a look inside, circa 2011, right before it was stabilized and boarded off—and you'll find even more at Kingston Lounge.