New York City is place with a lot of well kept secret places. Probably the best (or at least most interesting) of these places is North Brother Island. The island is located in the East River between Queens and the Bronx. Today, it”s completely abandoned, and nature is slowly reclaiming it.
Here is North Brother Island. The island is technically located in the Bronx, but you can see the very edge of Queens there in the bottom corner.
The entire island is about 20 square acres in total.
The island was uninhabited until 1885, when Riverside Hospital moved there from Roosevelt Island.
The mission of the hospital on North Brother Island was to isolate and treat victims of small pox and other quarantinable diseases like typhoid.
Following the end of World War II, the island became home to returning veterans and their families in the midst of the post-war housing boom.
In the 1950s, the facility on North Brother Island was converted to treat adolescent drug addicts.
Treating heroin addicts was the specialty of the facility.
Upon arrival, they were usually confined to a locked room in the facility (most against their will) until their addiction was broken.
By the time the 1960s rolled around, the drug treatment facility closed down.
It”s suspected that widespread staff corruption was the cause of the shutdown.
From then on, the hospital remained abandoned, and the island uninhabited.
During the 1970s, attempts were made to sell the island to private investors, but to no avail.
It”s astonishing that no company wanted to develop the island.
Before completely abandoning the island, state officials toyed with the idea of building a prison on the island in the 1980s. The idea did not come to fruition.
Finally, the island was purchased by the City of New York.
Now it”s designated as a bird sanctuary.
Inside some of the crumbling buildings are pieces of patient art from before the hospital closed down.
It”s crazy to think this was once a bustling, modern medical center.
There are even old food items on some of the shelves.
Someone shot up this door pretty good. Scary to think what might be on the other side.
Nature is slowly but surely reclaiming what it lost.
What remains of an old gate.
Nature is relentless when left unchecked.
In a few years time, there might not be any standing buildings left on the island.
This is the view of Manhattan from the tallest building on the island.
This is amazing. How can such a creepy treasure sit under the noses of the millions of people living in New York City without anyone knowing about it? Very cool. I just wish they gave tours of the island.