4. Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, Queens

Guano Room_New York_Untapped Cities_Will Ellis

Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s Building 25 was once a haven for New York City’s cast-out mentally ill, but today it houses a much more reviled and equally misunderstood breed of New Yorker–they’re pigeons, and you won’t believe what they’ve done with the fourth floor. The sprawling Creedmoor campus was constructed in 1912 in Queens Village as the Farm Colony of Brooklyn State Hospital.

By 1960, Creedmoor’s population swelled from 150 in 1918 to over 7,000. But with the development of antipsychotic medications came a trend toward deinstitutionalization. Amazingly, the campus continues to operate today, housing only a few hundred patients and providing outpatient services. Many of the buildings at Creedmor have been sold off. Others, like Building 25, lie fallow.