This is the morgue in the Ellis Island Isolation Hospital, which occupies the abandoned southern 2/3 of the island. Built in 1902, and abandoned in 1930, the hospital was primarily a waystation for immigrants who arrived and were judged ill - some were cured and allowed into the country, and many more were held in small rooms, many with views out to the Statue of Liberty, waiting for boats to deport them back to their countries of origin. But for thousands, the hospital complex would be their final destination - hence the need for an eight-tray morgue inside the autopsy theatre where visiting doctors could observe the final medical procedures performed on anonymous immigrants before their interment on Hart Island. Ellis island went by two names back in those days - “The Island of Hope” and “The Island of Tears”. For the relatives of those who wound up in this room, the latter most certainly applied.
Prints available here.