New York’s Forgotten Island

Of all the forgotten and mysterious places in the Five Boroughs of New York City, few have histories as rich and interesting as that of North Brother Island.

Situated in the Hell Gate, a particularly treacherous stretch of the East River, North Brother was home to the quarantine hospital that housed Typhoid Mary, was the final destination of the General Slocum during its tragic final voyage, and was the site of an experimental drug treatment program which failed due to corruption.

Riverside Hospital, the name of the facility on the island throughout its various incarnations, treated everything from smallpox and leprosy to venereal disease and heroin addiction; after the Second World War, it housed soldiers who were studying under the GI bill.

The entirety of the island has been abandoned since 1963; over a dozen buildings remain, in various states of disrepair.

North Brother Island remains off-limits to the public due to its designation as a protected nesting area, and it is home to a rare colony of black-crowned night herons. As such, it remains an inscrutable mystery to most New Yorkers, even though it is closer to the Empire State Building than most of Brooklyn.

– The Kingston Lounge


Via How To Be A Retronaut. Thank you to The Kingston Lounge and Bronwen Epstein.


~ by The 1955 Hudson on June 1, 2011.

5 Responses to “New York’s Forgotten Island”

  1. Looks like it would make an excellent public school.

  2. i had a dream about this place and i don’t know about it day-sh-fo

  3. i had diashafoo on this place

  4. feel like iv been there

  5. first time i see this place and iv had a dream about it

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