In our visits to the many abandoned hospitals in New York City and the region, we’ve seen the range from fully abandoned to repurposed – some are even converted into parks like Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital or Letchworth Village. Some of the most fascinating are the ones that are in between – where new buildings sit side by side with cordoned-off abandoned buildings, or abandoned rooms and tunnels remain within actively used buildings. Sea View Hospital on Staten Island, run by the city of New York, is one of those.
An old-school, tiled active corridor within the administration building
While we previously shared photographs by urban explorers of the abandoned Children’s Hospital on the site, and the tunnels beneath the building, while on a location scouting mission for a television channel, we recently photographed additional tunnels that connect the administration building to many of the other buildings on the Seaview hospital property. Indeed, with its unique blend of active and inactive buildings, Sea View has a popular film location in New York City. Gotham and Boardwalk Empire have both filmed there, along with independent productions.
Sea View hospital was once the largest and most renown tuberculosis sanatoriums in the country, with additional facilities for treating the mentally ill and cholera. A Farm Colony was also added to the facility, which is now being redeveloped. The tunnels we walked through connect to buildings that were part of the original layout of Sea View, designed in a Spanish revival style with unique Mediterranean roofing and notable terra cotta and ceramic art. Some buildings have been renovated, while others stand abandoned, awaiting a possible new life.
Depending on the architecture, the tunnels are alternatively at ground level or above which allows light to come in at some places. What’s particularly interesting is seeing the succession of how these tunnels change, as you get further and further from the administration building, which we will document here.
The production team for a television shoot altered the floor, painting the section you see closer to you
On the ground floor, the tunnel begins in a rather mechanical way:
Above this level is an abandoned former kitchen, used as well in a film shoot before:
Another section of the tunnel is wood-paneled:
But for the most part, the tunnels serve as a repository for discarded hospital furniture from gurneys to chairs.
The tunnels connect to former pavilions and then further on to places like the morgue:
Further on, the tunnel conditions become more abandoned:
A view from inside the tunnels:
Sea View Hospital is not generally open for visits to the public, but there is a museum that can be visited by appointment. Other portions of the property have been reused, including a volunteer fire brigade, the Staten Island Ballet, an ambulance company, rehab facilities, and senior care housing. Untapped Cities will be visiting the Farm Colony portion this weekend on a special tour with the NYCEDC.