Earlier this month, we wrote about the semi-abandoned East New York freight tunnel, a popular backdrop for television and films. Our source, who came across the rail line by poring over old maps, has recently shared more images from his exploration there. The tunnel, built in 1918, has four tracks but only one is active today – “a short haul freight run from Fresh Pond yard (to the north) running down to Bay Ridge.”
For the last five years, German artist Bettina WitteVeen has been working on a site-specific installation inside the abandoned Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital building. The photographic exhibit, “When We Were Soldiers… once and young (WWWS),” opens Saturday and will be free to the public with advance tickets. While urban explorers will be likely drawn in by the rare access to this part of the Navy Yard property–in fact, it’s the first time an artist has been allowed use of the hospital building known as R95–the exhibit itself also deserves additional explanation. A press visit on Thursday morning allowed us to hear directly from WitteVeen herself, who hopes this artistic exploration of war combat can incite a dialogue about redemption.
There may be no other subway station more contentious among subway buffs than the 76th Street subway station in Queens, an IND station on the A line near Ozone Park, Queens that the The New York Times calls the “Roswell” of the New York City subway system. Its existence is hotly debated but urban explorer Dark Cyanide says us he’s gotten closer than most and shared the photos of his exploration.
Previously, we presented 10 abandoned asylums and hospitals in New York City ranging from the Roosevelt Island smallpox castle to North Brother Island. But asylums and hospitals are perhaps even more common outside of New York City, where the popular medical ideas of the time could be implemented to their fullest. It was thought that fresh air and a bucolic landscape would contribute to patient welfare. While many of these institutions have been demolished, others have been left to languish as newer facilities were constructed. Many have become must-hits in an urban explorer punchlist.
Here are six to whet your urban exploration appetite. Although there are others further upstate like the J.N. Adams Memorial Hospital in Perrysburg, we’ve focused on locations that you can visit using public transit from New York City (and then taxi or some hiking).
Photo via National Lighthouse Museum
The National Lighthouse Museum, just a few minutes walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island will have its grand opening on August 7th, as recently reported by The New York Times. But what may be most fascinating to our readers, beyond the new museum, which had a soft launch last year and is already open to visitors is the history behind the site, a former quarantine station, and the abandoned buildings that can still be seen. In fact, the National Lighthouse Museum is the smallest building in the complex, in a foundry that once was part of the U.S. Light-House Establishment.
Rockland Psychiatric Center, Exterior Set of Orange Is The New Black
Our readers have been eating up our roundup of film locations for the hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black, but we wanted to share more in detail about the semi-abandoned Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center, which serves as the exterior film set of Orange Is The New Black. The locale combines two of our favorite things: urban exploration and film locations. In fact, Untapped Cities reader James Garcia, a filmmaker and paranormal investigator, headed back to Orangeburg, New York this past weekend on our suggestion to capture more shots of both the set area and the creepy abandoned buildings–he’s been filming this complex for quite some time. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll recognize many spots.