New York City has a fascinating — and at times extremely creepy — history. As the city modernized and built over old structures, much of its history was buried, too. However, there are several historic places that have yet to be touched by the modern world. From forsaken hospitals to deserted military forts, abandoned places surround us.
In the early 1900s, when tuberculosis was a leading cause of death around the world, Sea View Hospital was the largest tuberculosis long-term medical facility in the United States. Located in Staten Island, the campus has 37 buildings, many of which have not been in use since the early 20th century. Inside these buildings, there’s outdated medical equipment and big, open rooms with floor to ceiling windows. The Children’s Hospital is particularly haunting, as well as the tunnels beneath the main hospital building. If endless rooms and tunnels full of rusting gadgets are your thing, Sea View is the perfect place to visit.
Loew’s Canal Theatre
When the venue first opened in 1927, Loew’s Canal Theatre was a movie theater in New York City with approximately 2,200 seats. People came here to watch indie movies and serials until it closed in 1980. The abandoned theater still sits at 31 Canal St. in lower Manhattan. The interior of the building, though once ornate, has clearly been neglected for decades. But despite the peeling paint and rotting walls, the former beauty of this venue is still evident through the grand chandelier, detailed molding and colorful wall tiling.
If you’re looking to explore somewhere that doesn’t have an exact address, head over to Gravesend, Brooklyn, where you’ll find a hidden trove of abandoned ships. You’ll find this secret spot, located on a small peninsula, near the northern border of Calvert Vaux Park, off of Bay 44th Street. On the shore, there is a decaying marina, and when the tide goes out, old watercrafts emerge into the daylight. Surrounding the site is construction debris and lush greenery, which has helped keep this small peninsula concealed from the public for years. While it may take time to pinpoint this exact location, a trip to Gravesend is guaranteed to be a fun adventure.
More than 150 years ago, Fort Totten was built to protect the New York Harbor during the Civil War. This military fortress, which is located on a peninsula in the northeast corner of Queens, is comprised of hundreds of buildings and fortress walls. Although it is technically a state park, Fort Totten does not have enough funding to restore its historic buildings. Overgrown vines decorate the exteriors of empty houses and green moss carpets the concrete batteries. For those who are not easily spooked, check out the dark cannon rooms and the maze of underground tunnels.
Jumping Jack Power Plant
If you want to explore the Jumping Jack, you’re going to have to find it first. This towering building is located somewhere in Brooklyn by the river and is speculated to be some type of coal plant. Those who are familiar with the abandoned building refuse to reveal too much information regarding its purpose in order to keep its location a secret. Inside, the Jumping Jack is a four-story warehouse filled with floor to ceiling machinery. Everything is a rusting bronze color, with pipes, railings and metal fixtures crisscrossing the interior. Jumping Jack is a photographer’s paradise and an explorer’s ultimate find.
Don’t forget to bring your cameras if you decide to visit one of these places. And remember: trespassing is illegal. So be safe, kids.
Email Natalie Chinn at [email protected]