Most people know that New York City is a collection of islands; in fact it is made up of roughly 36 islands. Some of these names, such as Coney Island, Roosevelt Island, and Manhattan I’m sure you’ve heard. Almost everybody knows what the Manhattan skyline looks like, but less known is a small 13 acre island, completely abandoned, and completely off limits right in the middle of them all. Consisting of over 13 acres and 30 abandoned buildings including factories, hospitals, and churches the island is a veritable abandoned city and a jewel amongst urban exploration sites. Welcome to North Brother Island…
North Brother Island and its sister island South Brother Island were claimed by the Dutch West India Company in 1614 but North Brother remained uninhabited until 1885 when the quarantine facility Riverside Hospital relocated there from its former home of Roosevelt Island (at that time known as Blackwell’s Island). The island’s storied history also includes the housing of WWII veterans attending New York colleges, and a heroine rehabilitation facility.
The island was also the site of New York State’s worst disaster until 9/11. In 1904 the passenger steamboat, General Slocum carrying members of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church caught fire and sank off the port of North Brother Island killing 1,021 of the passengers. The ruins of the General Slocum were excavated and recycled into a barge by the Knickerbocker Steamship Company.
In our sister blog, Travel Creepster you’ll find numerous locations, their histories filled with tragedy resulting in modern day accounts of hauntings and the like. That doesn’t seem to be the case with North Brother Island. As creepy as the surroundings may be it’s not generally known as a “haunted” location.
Although the island is closed to the public, that hasn’t stopped numerous photographers and urban explorers from capturing the magnificence of the island.
MAP OF NORTH BROTHER ISLAND
Building : photo credit RichM
Factory2 : photo credit jag9889
Physical Plant : photo credit Wardine
Nurses Cottage & Spiral Stairs : photo credit Ian Ference
Riverside Hospital : photo credit The Kingston Lounge