How New Jersey won the battle for Ellis Island

TRD New York /
Jun.June 03, 2017 12:30 PM

Ellis Island

Few sights are as closely associated with the history of New York City than Ellis Island, the gateway to the United States for millions of immigrants. But it turns out Ellis Island doesn’t belong to NYC; it belongs to Jersey.

In May of 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the historic site belonged “mostly to New Jersey, in addition to the federal government, since it’s overseen by the National Park Service,” ending a long-running dispute between New York and New Jersey, according to Curbed and Smithsonian Magazine. And by long-running, we mean running back to colonial times.

The dispute over the island “turned into a shooting war more than once,” writes Ken Jennings for Condé Nast Traveler. But by the early 19th Century, Congress drew a line in the Hudson that gave the island to New Jersey. Still, New York had the lease on the island, and so with NYC it stayed.

Arguments between the states (over river beds, expansions and operation) continued until late last century when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to give 90 percent of Ellis Island to New Jersey.

[6sqft | Smithsonian] —Christopher Cameron


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

Control freaks: Institutional players take over landlords’ war on rent caps

Control freaks: Institutional players take over landlords’ war on rent caps

From left: The Blau and Berg Company's Karine Blanc, TD and Partners' Nana Duncan and Lemor Development Group's Kenneth Morrison (Credit: Blauberg, TD+Partners and Lemor)

Black developers say partnerships aren’t always equal

550 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Sony Building in talks with anchor tenant

New York City investment sales in September 2019

New York City investment sales in September 2019

Workers injured at Hudson Yards scaffolding collapse, a peek at Disney’s new HQ

Workers injured at Hudson Yards scaffolding collapse, a peek at Disney’s new HQ

arrow_forward_ios