Ellis Island Southside Hospital
We love hearing from readers in our Untapped Mailbag, especially when they have questions like, “Where can I film a TV show with an apocalypse v. man story line?” In our answer, here’s a sampling of the spots we suggested:
Ellis Island Southside Hospitals: There isn’t much creepier than an abandoned hospital. This one has old incinerators, medicinal bottles, surgical wards and more.
Fort Totten: This Civil War fort is particularly apocalyptic for the inscriptions soldiers carved into the walls while stationed here.
Gowanus Batcave Ceiling
Each week, we’ll feature one of our popular lists on Foursquare (or exciting additions to them). Check out our Foursquare page and follow us for tips on the go and download the app.
Our most popular list on Foursquare is our Abandoned NYC list. These are Untapped Cities’ favorite abandoned spots in NYC. Some are break-in-able, some open to the public, some only for the intrepid. Currently with 28 locations (we add to it regularly), it features some great summer escapes like Fort Totten, Dead Horse Bay and Bannerman’s Island. 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.
New Yorkers are only learning about the grandeur and glory of the Brooklyn waterfront just as its industrial past fades and dies. For much as we like to talk about “reopening” the waterfront to the public, the truth is that the waterfront was historically closed so long as it was industrial. And nowhere was that more true than in Williamsburg, where the immense sugar refineries and warehouses ruled the East River from the Civil War foreword, barring all casual wanderers. Sugar’s reign came to a whimpering end in January 2004 when the American Sugar Refinery Company shut down operations at the Domino Sugar refinery site. A few months later, the 11-acre site was sold to developers for $55 million.
The “Lost Diner” at 357 West Street
New York City isn’t known for its roadside attractions or its motor inns, but along the West Side Highway, you can still find shades of the open road. What could be more emblematic of the highway state of mind than the diner, whose very contours suggest forward motion, gleaming like hubcaps across the American landscape? Abandoned between auto repair shops and a gentlemen’s club, the lost diner at 357 West Street fully commits to the mystery and isolation only hinted at in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, (which happens to be based on a nearby diner in Greenwich Village.) Untapped Cities previously covered the history of the diner, but today we can’t resist taking a peek inside… (more…)
The occasional Amtrak train interrupts the silence of the tunnel.
Even in New York’s most isolated spaces, you’re walking in the footsteps of multitudes. Off-limits under Riverside Park, skimming 2.5 miles of Upper West Side shoreline, the Freedom Tunnel remains the most well-known, well-traveled, and well-documented section of the city’s subterranean transit system. More than a working Amtrak conduit, the Freedom Tunnel gained notoriety as the home of the “mole people,” a vast colony of squatters that peaked in the 80s and early 90s. On a recent visit, we found the track surprisingly clear of any trace of its former inhabitants, but lining the walls, there are pieces of a separate, though intertwined, history. (more…)
The cavernous interior of the Domino Sugar Refinery’s Raw Sugar Warehouse.
Situated on an eleven-acre parcel of waterfront in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, the derelict Domino Sugar Refinery remains one of the most recognized monuments of Brooklyn’s rapidly disappearing industrial past. Now, after a decade of false starts, new plans for a modern, mixed-use megacomplex may put an end to the decaying colossus that was once the largest refinery in the world, marking the final passage of a working-class Williamsburg.