BatceilingGowanus Batcave. Photo by Will Ellis.

Here are Untapped Cities’ favorite abandoned spots in New York City 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.

20. Ellis Island South Side Hospitals

Passageway around an open air circular courtyard as seen on the Untapped Cities Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital. Photo by James and Karla Photography.

Hiding in plain sight, the abandoned South Side Hospitals on Ellis Island were one of the largest public health undertakings in US history. While Ellis Island has become one of New York City’s top tourist attractions, drawing over two million visitors per year, the 22-building South Side hospital complex is hidden in plain sight, just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall. After immigration restriction laws shut down Ellis Island as a port of entry, the complex was left to decay for nearly 60 years. Looking at its desolate, skeletal frame now, it’s difficult to imagine that it was once the standard for United States medical care and one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. See more photographs of the amazing buildings and crumbling interiors.

If you’re interested in visiting the space, we just announced our 2018 tour dates for the abandoned hospital. On this unique exploration, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public.

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

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17 Responses
  1. Please do a ‘view all on one page’. Waiting for pages to load and I lose patience with lots of clicking very quickly! 🙂

    • michelle young Reply

      We do have it, it’s under the blue bar! And starting Wednesday it will also be on mobile. 🙂

  2. Mike Moore Reply

    We went for a drill at the Navy Yard around 1997, during the drill we had about 2 hours downtime, so we walked around the place. At that time , you could literally walk into these buildings , no locks , no fences. Of course this was before cameras on cell phones and certainly no one had a camera , but we went in 3 of them , there were still pictures , file cabinets and in a closet was a white officers jacket , covered in bird crap , but it was as if the place closed and everyone just left !!! Was awesome , many were still there since my last time passing there in 2014 but they are in much worse condition….but if I could , I would still explore them !!!!!

  3. are all of these places allowed to be walked into to explore? I wont get a record for tresspassing?

    • michelle young Reply

      It’s all at your own risk, with most of these and without being on a sanctioned tour (sometimes we run tours on Untapped Cities of abandoned places in partnership with the city), you would be trespassing. There are a few on this list that are part of parks and can be seen from the exterior.

  4. Kind of a misleading title since lots of these places aren’t actually in the city, but still very cool

    • ??? The first one is in Yonkers and the last one is near Beacon, the other 18 are all in the city

  5. Very cool! I’m researching a horror novel that I’m working on, and yoou’ve given me plenty of great ideas for locations thanks to these eerie photos

    • Great article, makes me want to go back home, not to be taken by the police for trespassing.

  6. audie jansen Reply

    how can I find out how to purchase soe of these abaned metal buildings please email me let me know I thank u for ur time

    • Ok, but bring someone who can actually count. If your spelling is any indication of your math skills, you’ll probably need them. Just sayin’

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