8. Hart Island
Home to the largest tax funded cemetery in the world, Hart Island has been the final resting place for over 800,000 since 1869. Jacob Riis documented the island in his book, How the Other Half Lives, and estimated that 1 in 10 New Yorkers were buried on the island by the end of the 19th century. Like North Brother Island, it has often been associated with society’s unwanted, though a recent interview with a former resident indicates that it did not always have such a haunting persona. Today, the Hart Island Project seeks to reconfigure the island’s image with the construction of a public park and has worked actively to expand access to the island, particularly for those related to the dead.