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Coming Soon: The Peopling of America

The Ellis Island Immigration Museum will have a new feature in 2011. It will attract even more visitors than it does today with the opening of a center called The Peopling of America. The state-of -the-art $20 million project will be brought to you through a partnership between The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service.

The center, designed by ESI Design, will tell the story of the entire immigration process. It will not only cover the Ellis Island immigration period, but also the arrival of immigrants before it. The Peopling of America, therefore, will cover beyond the 1892-1954 period. The entire American immigration story will be shared with the public. Descendants of Ellis Island immigrants will not be the only ones who can track the history of their families. People who came to America after that time will also be included through this center. Therefore, a broader scope of visitors will relate directly to this center.

The Peopling of America will also tell the story of what the immigrants went through once they reached the shores of America. It will help in the heritage preservation efforts. It will allow people to further appreciate their past and ancestors who brought them to America. When the center is complete, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum will be called Ellis Island: The National Museum of Immigration. One of the existing galleries of the museum will be redesigned, two spaces will be restored, and the New Immigration Building will be transformed to contain the curatorial center of the museum.

This center will be the only place in the United States where all immigrants can find their story. It does not matter if your ancestors came to America in the 1900’s or in the 1990’s, you will find your story at the Peopling of America. It is not only about the Ellis Island experience. You will see exhibits that depict immigration from 1920’s to the present. You will notice changes in economics, immigrant policy, and transportation means, as well as depictions of the emotions that the immigrants experienced.

You can also see how towns and the world changed through immigration. You can choose American towns and see how they changed as new floods of immigrants settled in, bringing with them their culture and traditions. You will notice how shops and architecture were affected throughout the years. The Peopling of America also displays how migration changed the world. Visitors can also listen to diverse community radio programs from various locations in the country. After all, radio has been an important medium for immigrant families who want to keep their culture alive. Further, another exhibit allows you to submit your name and details and it will give you the immigration route of your family.

Through its various exhibitions, The Peopling of America center at Ellis Island will help connect people to their past. It will celebrate the immigration experience. Open to the entire family, it will act as a great educational tool for children.