For five years photographer Stephen Wilkes explored Ellis Island’s hospital, documenting the long-abandoned 22-building complex where thousands of would-be immigrants were held. Photographing this little-seen “dark side” became an obsession that eventually led to a book, exhibitions and a multi-million dollar effort to preserve the place as a living ruin. Some of these poignant photos, capturing signs of life amidst extreme disrepair, are currently on display at Steuben Glass on the Upper East Side.

“Ellis Island,” December 1 – January 9, Steuben Glass Gallery, 667 Madison Avenue