Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 10 Greatest Murals in NYC — #7

The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development of America

7 Role of the ImmigrantWhen the WPA commissioned Edward Laning to paint this ode to our nation’s immigrant culture, the plan was for the mural to hang in the dining hall of the Ellis Island Immigration Processing Center (where replicas of some of the mural’s panels hang today). As Ellis Island fell into neglect and decrepitude, pending its 1988 restoration, the mural was removed and installed in the United States Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York, located in Brooklyn Heights. While much of the mural depicts parts of the country not directly connected to New York, the panels entitled Blast Furnace, Mining Coal, and especially Debarking, speak directly to the city and its northeastern neighbors.


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