When completed, the two-story, 10,000 sq. ft. hospital and immigration museum will be the nation’s only restored public health hospital. During the hospital’s operation from 1910 to 1940, thousands of patients were inspected and treated there. Visitors will experience a compelling look at the medical practices and policies encountered by new immigrants, including the hospital’s dual entrances: one for Europeans, one for non-Europeans. It’s a powerful portrayal of the discriminatory thinking that was accepted at the time.
For the immigrants it was a place to be feared. As in the administration building, those within the hospital had the power to crush one's dreams by finding medical reasons for deportation. Understanding its history sheds new light on the evolution of public health policies, and its exhibits will also celebrate the voices and stories of the immigrants who passed through its doors, invigorating today’s immigration dialogue. From this starting point, the exhibits will also tell the stories of those who immigrated before, during and after the Angel Island period of 1910-1940, up to the present day.
Phase One of the restoration was completed in 2012. AIISF secured a $3 million grant to stabilize the building and replace the leaky roof that brought water damage to the interior walls and floors. Funding for this project was provided in part by the California Cultural and Historical Endowment.
In Phase Two restoration of the interior rooms will be completed and the exhibits designed, fabricated and installed. Construction is slated to begin in November 2013 and end by February 2015. $11 million has been committed by state and federal agencies and AIISF is now raising the remaining $3 million to complete the project.
The history of America is the history of immigrants. Yet the stories of West Coast immigration are not as well known as those of the East Coast. The hospital building will celebrate the voices and stories of the immigrants who passed though its doors. It will truly be the national symbol of the Pacific Coast immigration experience.