While it isn’t surprisingly to know that some of New York City’s larger outer boroughs have several abandoned locations, many New Yorkers may not know that the bustling borough of Manhattan has a few inactive spots itself. From graffiti filled tunnels to cultural hubs to historic theaters and desolate subway platforms, there are many areas throughout Manhattan
While some are partially demolished and others have plans to eventually be redeveloped, several today simply lay forgotten in the heart of New York City, so keep an eye out as you walk the Manhattan streets or ride the subway in case you come across a piece of NYC history.
10. The Freedom Tunnel
Image by AbandonedNYC
Located underneath Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, the Freedom Tunnel is one of the city’s most frequented off-limits transportation spots. According to Will Ellis’ book Abandoned NYC, the Freedom Tunnel was first constructed as part of Robert Moses‘ Westside Improvemet Project to address the problem of “Death Avenue,” a ground-level railroad track responsible for the deaths of several pedestrians. However, once the tunnel was completed, the rise of trucking made the track largely obsolete.
Many homeless people discovered the abandoned area by the mid-70s, and hundred resided there through the ’80s. However, in the 1990s Amtrak began laying new track, and many squatting there were forcibly removed by the NYPD in 1996. Today, the tunnels are remarkably clean, with the only signs of life from the graffiti on the walls. The graffiti of artist Chris Pape, nicknamed “Freedom” is the namesake for the tunnel. His graffiti recreated the works of Goya and Michelangelo and has remained on the walls for several decades before Amtrak began to paint over it in 2009.