In 2003, ARG Conservation Services performed conservation work on the carved, incised, and written poems on the walls of the Detention Barracks and Hospital buildings at the Angel Island Immigration Station. These writings, dating from 1910 to 1940, represent a significant part of the Asian-American immigration experience.
The conservation work included cleaning of all interior walls to remove soiling and biological growth; the application of a wood preservative and consolidant to areas of wood decay; and the reattachment of flaking paint where pencil writing on the top paint layer exists. Electronic data loggers were installed to record temperature and relative humidity of the site. In the hospital, where severe deterioration of the building threatens the survival of historic writings in pencil, sections of plaster containing writings were removed and conserved off site.
The results of the conservation program were the removal of sources of deterioration and treatment for areas of decay while altering as little as possible the appearance, materials, and character of the poetry.
National Park Service
California State Parks
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
San Francisco, California