November 12, 2011 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

Tuberculosis Ward, Statue of Liberty, Island 3
Stephen Wilkes: Tuberculosis Ward, Statue of Liberty, Island 3, Ellis Island

November 12 marks the 57th anniversary of the closing of Ellis Island, a facility that will forever be linked to the concept of the American dream. From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island. They came from Ireland, England, Germany, Italy, and many other countries, and together they formed the backbone of America.

beginning in 1998,  Stephen Wilkes immortalized the remaining ruins in his epic "Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom" project.

For the anniversary, Life.com has a slideshow "Faces of Ellis Island".

Tags: Stephen Wilkes Immigrants Ellis Island