NEW YORK -- A royal gala event at the Ellis Island Immigration
Museum last month, attended by King Harald and Queen Sonja of
Norway and former Vice President Walter Mondale, who spoke on
behalf of Norwegian-Americans, opened the first major exhibit
celebrating the contributions of Norwegian immigrants to New York
"Norwegians in New York 1825-2000: Builders of City, Community
and Culture" will be on display at Ellis Island for a total of six
The Norwegian Immigration Association (NIA), an all-volunteer
organization established in 1996, raised the $500,000 needed to
produce the exhibit.
The first Norwegian immigrants arrived in New York harbor on
Oct. 9, 1825; the exhibit was timed to coincide with the 175th
anniversary of Norwegian immigration to the U.S.
The exhibit spans six rooms and includes memorabilia of the
large Norwegian community that developed in Bay Ridge,
The Bay Ridge community of Norwegians grew to 200,000 residents
at its peak in 1950 and was the largest urban settlement of
Norwegians outside of Norway.
The exhibit also documents how Norwegian immigrants played a
major role in engineering and building some of New York's vital
infrastructure and most famous landmarks.
The Norwegian-Americans honored included:Ole Singstad, who engineered the four major tunnels: the
Holland Tunnel; the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel; the Queens Midtown
Tunnel, and the Lincoln Tunnel.Carl Eger and Niese Poulson, who designed and built the double
iron staircase inside the Statue of Liberty.Sverre Dahm, who designed the New York City subway system.Erling Anderson, who helped engineer and build the George
Washington Bridge.Sister Elisabeth Fedde, who founded the Norwegian Hospital in
Brooklyn, now Lutheran Medical Center.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Inc.
Phone: (212) 883-1986
Fax: (212) 883-1069
Norwegian Immigration Association Exhibit