‘A City of Tenacious Ghosts’: A Glimpse at New York City’s Abandoned Spaces
8 of 10
Back to the Intro

Abandoned NYC

1 of 10

Creedmoor State Hospital

Photo: Will Ellis

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.

2 of 10

Creedmoor State Hospital

Photo: Will Ellis

Many of the older structures are splitting at the seams, but there's little hope or interest in preserving them. 

3 of 10

Creedmoor State Hospital

A spiral staircase leans precariously in the Nurses' Residence.

4 of 10

Fort Totten

Photo: Will Ellis

Hoary calcite formations suspend from vaulted casemates on the lower level of Fort Totten's Civil War battery, where granite walls grow green with age.

5 of 10

Fort Totten

Photo: Will Ellis

On the eastern edge of the peninsula, the Fort Totten Post Hospital self-destructs in slow motion. The once-thriving infirmary with a 68-bed capacity exhibits a harrowing level of decay.

6 of 10

Fort Totten 

Photo: Will Ellis

Some doorways give way to our four-story chasm. Bucking walls, bulging floors, and collapsed light fixtures in the wretched sea-foam green interior. 

7 of 10

Gowanus "Batcave"

Photo: Will Ellis

The Gowanus "Batcave" was the home of a thriving squatter community in the early 2000s. Today it's being renovated into artists' studios and exhibition space.

8 of 10

Harlem Renaissance Ballroom

Photo: Will Ellis

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.

9 of 10

Harlem Renaissance Ballroom

A coat check on the ground floor was the first stop for visitors on their way to the ballroom.

10 of 10

P.S. 186

Photo: Will Ellis

The school is transformed by the seasons. In early July, lush vegetation lends a renewed vitality to the gloomy interiors of P.S. 186 in Queens.


Latest News from Daily Intelligencer

Stormy Daniels Is Beating Donald Trump at His Own Game

With her legal and public-relations moves, she has managed to outmaneuver the president at every turn.

Politicians React to March for Our Lives

Many Democrats joined the protests, while President Trump said nothing.

Scenes From the March for Our Lives Rallies Across America

A gallery of images and videos from Saturday’s big protests against gun violence from every corner of the country.

Paul McCartney Invokes John Lennon at March for Our Lives

‘One of my best friends was killed by gun violence …’

Justice Department to Create New Rule Banning Bump Stocks

The Trump administration is going to try to ban the devices without Congress, but may ultimately lose in court.

Trump Administration Announces Restrictive Trans Military Policy

There’s a good chance this won’t fly in court.

Everything You Need to Know About Stormy Daniels Before 60 Minutes

For example, her stage name honors both Mötley Crüe and Jack Daniel’s.

Trade War Fears Freak Out Markets, Which Should Freak Out Trump

The stock market has been Trump’s best friend. That isn’t necessarily going to be the case going forward.

Gov. Walker Wants to Change the Law So the GOP Can Avoid Losing a Special Election

Has a judge interpreted the law to compel Scott Walker to hold elections he’s afraid his party will lose? Okay, he’ll change the law.

Report: Roy Moore Supporters Wanted Accuser’s Lawyer to Disavow Her

A sordid tale of dirty tricks and Breitbart.