Must-visit abandoned places in NYC

Hey there, explorer! Welcome to another exciting blog post from Best Movers NYC. Have you ever wondered what secrets New York City holds beyond the iconic skyscrapers and lively streets? Today, we’ll let you in on a fascinating world you may not have discovered yet—abandoned places in NYC. With their rich history and eerie charm, these sites offer something most tourist spots don’t—a walk-through time in the City That Never Sleeps. So, grab your camera, lace up those hiking boots, and let’s start!

Why you should check out abandoned places in NYC

So why should you care about these neglected places? Well, each of these spots is like a time capsule, showing you a different era of New York. Statistics show that about 62.8 million tourists visited NYC in 2017 alone. But only a tiny fraction ever go beyond the usual attractions like Times Square or Central Park. Here, in these forgotten corners, you’ll experience history up close, get some unique photos, and feel the excitement of discovering something most people overlook. And the most obvious perk of them all – there will be no crowds, no matter what day or time of the day you decide to visit.

Picture of a tourist looking for abandoned places in NYC
These places offer another perspective on the city.

Make Brooklyn Army Terminal your first stop

One of Brooklyn’s best-kept secrets is the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Located in Sunset Park, this enormous space was once the hub of military supplies. If you were to move with movers Sunset Park provides and ask local residents about the abandoned places in NYC, they would likely mention this one.

Brooklyn Army Terminal stands out for its incredible design like its atrium suspended by crisscrossing catwalks. And if you’re worried about the safety aspect of venturing into an abandoned building, rest easy. Periodic inspections ensure the complex is structurally sound, making it safe for curious visitors like you. It might be abandoned, but the government knows just how strong the pull of these places can be for curious people, so safety always comes first!

Fort Totten is an abandoned treasure in Bayside, Queens

Next on our list, let’s head to Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens. Sitting in a suburban neighborhood where 32% of residents own their homes, according to NeighborhoodScout, this fort seems oddly out of place. Yet, its stone walls and aged structures are a rare window into New York’s military past. For those of you who’ve used moving companies Bayside NY newcomers resort to booking to settle down nearby, this could be your local weekend getaway!

The fort has various sections worth exploring, including a tunnel system. Reports indicate that guided tours are available occasionally, making learning about this historical site easier. But even if you opt to go solo, you’ll find information boards scattered throughout to give you a lowdown on what you see.

Fort Wadsworth is a forgotten guardian of New York Harbor

Even though the smallest by population, Staten Island is a borough that has something to offer for thrill seekers. Here, you’ll find Fort Wadsworth, once a critical defense post guarding the entrance to New York Harbor. If you’ve used moving companies Staten Island residents are proud of, then visiting this local treasure can add a dash of excitement to your new, calm neighborhood.

Fort Wadsworth has an extensive system of underground tunnels and batteries to explore. Its current state is well-maintained, meaning it’s safe for your visit. Plus, this fort provides some of the best panoramic views of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, making it a hidden gem for photographers.

Picture of a person looking at the city skyline thinking about the abandoned places in NYC
This site is well-maintained and safe.

Neponsit Beach Hospital

Neponsit Beach Hospital is located in the Rockaways, Queens. This borough is famous for its up-to-date amenities and fast pace of life, so if you’ve settled here, visiting this abandoned hospital can provide an exciting break from the daily grind.

This site was once a thriving hospital, caring for the sick and elderly. Now, it’s one of the most haunting abandoned places in NYC. Despite the urban legends surrounding it, this place allows you to walk through its quiet hallways, taking you back to an era long gone.

As you move from room to room, you can almost hear the echoes of the past. It’s an experience that is both eerie and fascinating. What’s more, there’s plenty of graffiti art decorating the old walls, making it an unlikely but captivating backdrop for photography enthusiasts.

North Brother Island is an island frozen in time

Tucked away off the coast of the South Bronx, North Brother Island holds the mysterious ruins of what was once a quarantine hospital. With over 50 years of abandonment, it’s a place that captures imagination. According to a New York Times article, this 20-acre island is a bird sanctuary, so it’s typically off-limits to the public. However, special permissions can be sought for educational purposes, making this a truly exclusive experience.

Apart from its haunting buildings, North Brother Island boasts a variety of flora and fauna, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers. You might even spot a rare bird species or two if you’re lucky.

Red Hook Grain Terminal has to be on your list of abandoned places in NYC

Brooklyn is one of the NYC boroughs you should go to if you want to visit authentic shops and cafes. But it is also here that you’ll find the Red Hook Grain Terminal, a massive structure that once played a role in New York’s industrial past. Anyone who used Red Hook NY movers to relocate to this hip area should be interested in exploring this gigantic facility.

Walking inside, you’ll be immediately struck by its towering silos. Built-in the early 1920s, the terminal now stands empty but remarkably intact. Despite the lack of active use, the structure has an air of resilience, showcasing the engineering prowess of the early 20th century. In a way, it is a silent tribute to the workers who once fueled New York’s industries.

Picture of an industrial building
This place is a reminder of the city’s industrial past.

The New York State Pavilion

If you relied on the moving companies Flushing NY offers to set up in Queens, this is an essential spot to add to your to-visit list. According to the New York City Parks Department, the Pavilion has drawn attention since it appeared at the 1964 World’s Fair. Though it’s now primarily unused, plans for restoration are underway, offering a glimpse of hope for this architectural marvel.

The Pavilion has two main components: the “Tent of Tomorrow” and the Observation Towers. Both structures offer distinct yet related experiences. The Tent lets you marvel at its unique design, while the Towers provide a bird’s-eye view of Queens.

Renwick Smallpox Hospital

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Roosevelt Island has a population of approximately 11,700 as of 2023. After getting settled, thanks to Roosevelt Island NY movers, you’ll find this is more than just a residential spot; it’s a place with a haunting past.

The hospital is a creepy reminder of New York City’s long battle with infectious diseases. Built-in the 1850s, Renwick Smallpox Hospital was one of the first U.S. hospitals devoted to treating smallpox patients. Though now in ruins, you can still see remnants of patient rooms and the old administrative areas. It’s a direct link to a less fortunate time in medical history, making it a must-see for those interested in the city’s past or the progress of medicine.

The Queensway

The Queensway is an abandoned stretch of the Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road in Queens. According to Friends of The QueensWay, an organization advocating for its revitalization, the rail line has been unused for more than half a century. Since then, the area has morphed into an “unofficial” green space frequented by local hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Like the other abandoned places we’ve discussed, The Queensway has its own tale. Initially operational in the early 1900s, this rail line was once full of commuters. Now, it offers an entirely different kind of experience, serving as a serene, hidden stretch for those looking to escape the city noise. Overgrown with local flora, it’s a fantastic spot for a peaceful walk, making it another must-visit location to understand the ever-changing New York City.

Dead Horse Bay

The Dead Horse Bay is an unusual beach located in Brooklyn. According to the NYC Parks Department, this area was once a site for horse-rendering plants, hence the unsettling name. As time passed, the area also served as a landfill, and what you find today is an unsettling yet intriguing collection of discarded items and artifacts.

Unlike any typical beach, Dead Horse Bay is strewn with everything from old glass bottles to vintage toys. For some, it serves as an open-air museum of sorts, each object offering a glimpse into a forgotten past. While it’s not the best place for a conventional day at the beach, it is a unique spot for those fascinated by history, artifacts, or simply the unusual. If you’re someone who finds beauty in forgotten places, Dead Horse Bay should be high on your list of abandoned places to explore in NYC.

Picture of a horse
This unsettling place is, in some way, an open-air museum.

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Last but not least, we can’t ignore the Staten Island Boat Graveyard, a hauntingly beautiful site that lies in the waters off Staten Island. According to the Waterfront Alliance, the area is officially known as the Witte Marine Scrap Yard and has been in operation since the 1930s. Over the decades, the site has accumulated various vessels, from tugboats to fishing boats, many of which are now submerged or partially exposed.

Walking along the waterfront, you might feel like you’re in a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie. The rusting boats and ships create an eerie, ghostly atmosphere. However, this place is a treasure for maritime history buffs and photographers. It offers a melancholic view of time’s passage, capturing the essence of abandonment and decay. For anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience, the Staten Island Boat Graveyard is a surreal and captivating place to visit. Sadly, it has been recently closed to the public, where trespassing is strictly forbidden.

Helpful tips for visiting abandoned places in NYC

For those of you itching to visit these sites, here are some tips to ensure a rewarding experience:

  • Always do your research: Before you head out, it’s crucial to know the site’s legal status. Trespassing laws are strictly enforced in New York, and violating them can result in fines or even arrest. Websites and social media groups dedicated to urban exploration often provide updated information.
  • Prioritize safety: Accidents can happen, especially in areas with crumbling structures. Wearing sturdy shoes with good grip can prevent slips and falls. It’s also good to go with someone for added safety. Solo adventures can be risky in unfamiliar territories.
  • Respect the sites: Preserving the integrity of these sites is everyone’s responsibility. Don’t vandalize, remove any items, or disrupt the environment. The aim is to observe and appreciate, not to interfere or damage.
  • Seek permission: Some places, like North Brother Island, require special permits or guided tours to enter. Make sure you comply with these regulations to avoid legal complications.
  • Carry essentials: While at it, carry a flashlight, water, and a basic first aid kit. You never know when these might come in handy.
  • Stay alert: Keep an eye on your surroundings and be cautious. Abandoned places are unpredictable, and it’s best to stay on your guard.
Picture of a caution sign
When visiting abandoned places in NYC, you must be extra cautious.

Time to explore

We’ve taken you through a collection of captivating abandoned places in NYC. Each site offers a unique look into the city’s history, from military forts to deserted hospitals. It’s incredible to think that even in a city like New York, these pockets of the past still exist. Whether you’re an NYC native or a newcomer, these places serve as quiet escapes and provide an intriguing contrast to the city’s usual beat. If you’re relocating soon and want to explore these hidden gems, acquire essential information first. Have fun exploring, and take many pictures to capture your unique experiences!

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