Our most popular list on Foursquare is our Abandoned NYC list. These are Untapped Cities’ favorite abandoned spots in NYC and the surrounding area. Some are break-in-able, some open to the public, some only for the intrepid. It features some great summer escapes like Fort Totten, Dead Horse Bay and Bannerman’s Island, as well as some great winter expeditions. Some places are harder to access, like Glenwood Power Plant and the Gowanus Batcave (both of which have recently been closed off for gutting/renovation, North Brother Island, and some of the abandoned theaters.
In no particular order, here’s a sampling from our Foursquare Abandoned NYC list:
North Brother Island is an island of rich history: a smallpox hospital in the 1850s, where Typhoid Mary died, a home to WWII veterans, and a drug center in the 1950s. It’s now abandoned and off limits to the public. See more.
Castles? In New York? Why, yes! The ruins of Bannerman’s Island are a must, built by the Bannerman family as warehouse facility for their military surplus business in 1901. Get there by boat or kayak, tours available. See more.
The city’s only remaining commercial marine salvage yard is located on Staten Island. Wear good shoes and explore are your own risk. Some pictures of the amazing place.
8. Abandoned Trolley Cars near the Beard Street Warehouses, Red Hook
Having served as both land dump and horse rendering plant, Dead Horse Bay in Brooklyn is dotted with bottles, horse bones, abandoned boats, and vintage nicknacks including creepy toys and old hand guns. See more.
Quite possibly the smallest diner in NYC, its wedged between two buildings. Empty since 2006, the chrome and green diner is now canvased with graffiti. See more.
The fabled Admirals Row saw demolition in Jan ’12 but you can still see the two last townhouses and crumbling manufacturing buildings, along with active work spaces. Read about what’ll happen to the yards.
12. The Queensway
Did you know there’s still a section of the High Line that’s still abandoned? We can’t officially tell you how to break in but you can read about it and see photos here. You can also take tours of this section with the High Line this season.
A beautiful decommissioned subway stop sits below City Hall Park park. See it on a tour with the Transit Museum or stay on the 6 train after Brooklyn Bridge station. See more.
The now barren subterranean space once served as a means to transport the Waldorf-Astoria’s more famous guests discreetly, like General Pershing and FDR. It also supposedly served as an underground party space for Andy Warhol in 1965. Read more.
Observant riders of the JMZ lines are likely to have noticed a curious open space alongside the tracks at the Delancey/Essex station, the location for the proposed Lowline park. This dark and seemingly vacant 60,000 square foot lot is a remnant of NYC’s trolley era and dates back to 1903. Read more.
19. Hart Island
The skeletal structures of the Hart Island Pavilion Building have gone untouched since 1976. Image via the Kingston Lounge.
The 101-acre Hart Island serves as the city’s last potter’s field, for the dead who are unclaimed or whose families couldn’t afford a funeral. The island is uninhabited today, but more than 800,000 dead has been buried there since 1869, making it the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world. Have a look into the crumbling women’s asylum as well.
Located seven miles north of the Manhattan stands the ruin of the Glenwood/Yonkers power station associated with the New York Central and Hudson River Railroads. Interior demolition has begun with plans to convert it into a hotel and conference center. See photos from 2012 and 2013.