During the course of the massive restoration of the main building on Ellis Island, workers discovered, beneath layers of old plaster and paint, almost 400 square feet of graffiti covered surfaces . One Italian immigrant wrote: "Damned be the day that I left my homeland and country." For others, the makeshift galleries gave expression to their imaginations.
From one of the many floors, looking out onto one of four magnificent cupolas that give the building an appearance of a floating palace.
Not unlike an elementary school lavatory, immigrants from all corners of the globe came clean from their past lives to begin a new future .