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Ting Secures $1 Million To Help Angel Island Rebuild Julia Morgan Cottages

For immediate release:
Site of Where Julia Morgan Cottages Once Were on Angel Island

It’s been 52 years since the Julia Morgan-designed cottages on Angel Island burned down during a fire training exercise, which was caught on film and used in the movie, “The Candidate.” Now, some of the iconic buildings will be coming back to life, as a result of $1 million in state funding that Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) successfully secured.

“Not many people know that Angel Island was the entry point for thousands of immigrants on the West Coast, especially for Asians looking for a new life in the United States. I want to make history come alive for visitors, providing an invaluable opportunity to learn about the past and imagine a more inclusive future,” said Ting.

Between 1910 and 1940, approximately 500,000 immigrants crossed the Pacific Ocean for a chance at a new life in America. The Angel Island Immigration Station, sometimes known as the Ellis Island of the West, was created to enforce the Chinese Exclusion Act and other anti-immigrant policies designed to try to keep Asian and Pacific Island immigrants from entering the U.S. They were seen as threats during an economic downturn, and many were detained on or deported from Angel Island solely based on their Asian ancestry.

Some of the immigration station workers were housed on the island in twelve cottages, which were designed by Morgan, California’s first licensed female architect. The rebuilding of two of those units are part of a bigger capital improvement project envisioned for the Angel Island Immigration Station, which includes future work on the site’s dock, outdoor terraces, and buildings.

"Angel Island is a living landmark for all immigrants, their descendants, and their families. It symbolizes diverse experiences of racism, exclusion, detention, resilience and hope. When you visit the site, you have the rare chance to learn about - and feel– the history of an important chapter in California and U.S. history,” said Edward Tepporn, Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.

In 2016, Ting helped secure nearly $3 million in state funding to help the organization preserve the building that once served as a hospital. It has been reimagined and opened in January 2022 as the Angel Island Immigration Museum. It offers both exhibits about historical and contemporary immigration, as well as meeting and conference space. 

When completed in 2026, California State Parks hopes the cottages will attract more visitors to the island and help provide additional opportunity to tell Angel Island’s complex history and current relevance.

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