• Facebook

    500 K / likes

  • Twitter

    1 M / followers

Photos of Abandoned Places Found in New York City

7 Comments

The Gowanus Batcave

For the past few years, photographer Will Ellis has been locating, exploring, and documenting obscure abandoned places in New York City. His images show everything from the ruins of old hospitals to abandoned subway terminals — and sometimes the photos are one last glimpse of those spaces before they’re reclaimed or reduced to rubble by developers or the government.

The photo above shows the Gowanus “Batcave,” which was a thriving squatter community in the early 2000s. More recently it was purchased by a millionaire who seeks to turn it into a artist studio and exhibition space.

“I’m not a scholar or historian, but I try my best to do proper research, relying mainly on the archives of the New York Times,” Ellis writes. “I am hoping to preserve the belief that there is still weirdness, wildness, and mystery in the world, even in an increasingly sanitized city like New York.”

Paint peels in the now-demolished packaging plant of Williamsburg's Domino Sugar Refinery. The factory operated on the Brooklyn waterfront for nearly 150 years before shutting down in the early 2000s.
Paint peels in the now-demolished packaging plant of Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Refinery. The factory operated on the Brooklyn waterfront for nearly 150 years before shutting down in the early 2000s.
The Freedom Tunnel under Riverside Park once held a vast homeless encampment known as "the mole people." Amtrak evicted the residents and reactivated the line in the 1990s, but the tunnel remains a mecca for graffiti artists.
The Freedom Tunnel under Riverside Park once held a vast homeless encampment known as “the mole people.” Amtrak evicted the residents and reactivated the line in the 1990s, but the tunnel remains a mecca for graffiti artists.
The Staten Island Farm Colony was constructed in the 19th century to house and rehabilitate the city's poor.  This was the last room standing in a collapsed dormitory now slated for demolition.
The Staten Island Farm Colony was constructed in the 19th century to house and rehabilitate the city’s poor. This was the last room standing in a collapsed dormitory now slated for demolition.
New York's deceased carriage horses were processed into glue and fertilizer at Brooklyn's Dead Horse Bay.  Today, 100-year-old artifacts cover the beach where erosion has uncovered a landfill deposit dating back to the 1920s.
New York’s deceased carriage horses were processed into glue and fertilizer at Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay. Today, 100-year-old artifacts cover the beach where erosion has uncovered a landfill deposit dating back to the 1920s.
Grossinger's Catskills Resort was once a favored upscale destination for Jewish New Yorkers.  A summer at Grossinger's is said to be the inspiration for the movie "Dirty Dancing."
Grossinger’s Catskills Resort was once a favored upscale destination for Jewish New Yorkers. A summer at Grossinger’s is said to be the inspiration for the movie “Dirty Dancing.”
North Brother Island in the Bronx was the site of a historic hospital for contagious diseases.  Today, it's designated as a wildlife preserve by the Parks department after being abandoned for half a century.
North Brother Island in the Bronx was the site of a historic hospital for contagious diseases. Today, it’s designated as a wildlife preserve by the Parks department after being abandoned for half a century.
Letchworth Village is located just an hour's drive from NYC in Thiells, NY.  It was founded in 1912 to house the city's developmentally disabled as a "state institution for the epileptic and feeble-minded."
Letchworth Village is located just an hour’s drive from NYC in Thiells, NY. It was founded in 1912 to house the city’s developmentally disabled as a “state institution for the epileptic and feeble-minded.”
Dawn breaks in a crumbling classroom of P.S. 186 in Harlem.  After forty years of neglect, saplings sprout from the upper floors of the school.
Dawn breaks in a crumbling classroom of P.S. 186 in Harlem. After forty years of neglect, saplings sprout from the upper floors of the school.
The Harlem Renaissance Ballroom was a notable meeting place for the movement's movers and shakers in the 1920s. It once hosted the greatest jazz perfomers of the age, as well as the nation's first all-black professional basketball team.
The Harlem Renaissance Ballroom was a notable meeting place for the movement’s movers and shakers in the 1920s. It once hosted the greatest jazz perfomers of the age, as well as the nation’s first all-black professional basketball team.
A homemade submarine lies half-submerged in the mud of Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn.  The vessel became lodged in the muck shortly after embarking on a failed treasure hunting expedition in the 1970s.
A homemade submarine lies half-submerged in the mud of Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn. The vessel became lodged in the muck shortly after embarking on a failed treasure hunting expedition in the 1970s.
In Queens, a population of pigeons has inhabited an abandoned ward at Creedmoor State Hospital  for decades. Dropping stalagmites accrue under popular roosts on the top floor.
In Queens, a population of pigeons has inhabited an abandoned ward at Creedmoor State Hospital for decades. Dropping stalagmites accrue under popular roosts on the top floor.

Ellis regularly shares his photos through his blog, AbandonedNYC. He has also published a selection of these photographs in a book of the same time.

(via Abandoned NYC via Laughing Squid)


Image credits: Photographs by Will Ellis and used with permission

7 Comments