A little while ago, Untapped Cities reader Matthew C. Hart, an editor who has worked on films like Frances Ha and Memphis, contacted us via Twitter on how one would hypothetically film something at the Staten Island Boat Graveyard. He wrote, “Thought you might have some tips re[garding] trying to film near the boat graveyard. A foolish thing to try or…”?
We recommended kayak, and you can see the results in this video for the band Vaults, a synth pop trio from London. The atmospheric video cuts between the winter landscape of the boat graveyard and an arty scene in a bathtub. Matthew talks to us about the process of shooting in an illicit, abandoned location:
Photo by @nativenyc
Seaview Hospital was once the largest tuberculosis sanatorium in the country, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also a U.S. Historic District and New York City landmark. The historic district, which was developed next to the Staten Island Farm Colony, includes 37 buildings planned and developed between 1905 and 1938. The NYC.gov website for the Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center & Home gives no indication of the surrounding abandonment, but indeed a few organizations have returned to operate from within the grounds, including a rehab center, volunteer firefighting organization and volunteer ambulance service. The photographic team of f/11 recently took a visit inside the crumbling remains of the Children’s Hospital at Seaview, as well as the underground tunnels beneath the main building, and shared with us their photos.
We’re doing a bunch of fun events with Will Ellis, the author of Abandoned NYC and Untapped Cities columnist, over the next few months. We hosted the first book talk when Abandoned NYC was released, and we’ll be hosting it again on February 25th at WeWork West Broadway. Tickets are also going fast to his guided tour of Dead Horse Bay in March. He’s curated this list of New York City’s abandoned hospitals for us, a remnant of a darker medical past when the diseased and undesirables were placed far from civilization.
Lois Lane, via Google Maps
There’s no Clark Kent nearby, but there is a Lois Lane in New York City. That is, there’s a lane named Lois, on Staten Island. In 2005, the New York Times dug into this fun occurrence, uncovering that it was named by developer Richard Nicotra for his wife, Lois. As Nicotra recounts, “My wife is named Lois, and I own the street, and I am no Superman, but she is my Lois Lane.” He renamed the street in about 2005, after purchasing the land in Bloomfield which as formerly a horse farm. Today, there’s a Hilton Garden Inn, the offices of Nicotra’s company, The Nicotra Group, a Pearson VUE location and the Kiddie Academy of Staten Island along this road. No office for The Daily Planet in sight, however.
New York City’s prison population is the lowest it has been in 10 years–10,923 inmates as of September 2014. But still, an ongoing question for the NYC Department of Corrections is where to house the inmates in a city as dense as New York. It might be surprising to some that the city’s prisons are generally, right among us–some look just like the apartment buildings next door except for some barbed wire windows. Prisons used to be organized along district lines, particularly before the 1898 consolidation of the five boroughs. They were attached to or near the courts and were little more than holding cells.
Here below are 15 of NYC’s former prisons, many which are still standing:
Remember that colossal landfill on Staten Island that held millions of tons of New York’s garbage? That once stinking, seagull infested dump, aka the Freshkills landfill which gave Staten Island an unfortunate identity for over half a century, is now on its way to becoming the largest park developed in New York City in over 100 years. Spanning over 2,200 acres, Freshkills Park will be three times the size of Central Park upon completion! Untapped Cities had the opportunity of joining AIANY aboard the classic harbor line yacht ‘Manhattan’ for one of their Archtober tours, meandering through the narrow creeks (or Kills as they call it in Dutch) within this already picturesque landscape.