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Abandoned Places in New York City

February 26 2024

New York City is one of the oldest cities in the USA, with the first European settlement in 1608. Since then New York - originally known as New Amsterdam - has grown into the bustling metropolis we know today. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find snapshots of the city’s rich history. 

Secret Apartment in the Fort Washington Library

Library custodians in New York used to be provided with private accommodation in the libraries, where they could live with their families. While this no longer happens, there are still 13 apartments in libraries across the city. 

Remains of Fort Wadsworth abandoned fort in New York

Even though the apartments have now been abandoned, you can still see into the preserved apartment at the Fort Washington Library. Unfortunately, the apartment is behind a locked door, but if you look up through the third-floor windows from the street, you can capture a glance of the peeling wallpaper inside. 

The Hidden Art Deco Tunnel Underneath the New Yorker Hotel

The New Yorker Hotel is one of the most photographed in New York - perhaps due to the name of the hotel. However, what many people don’t know is that an underground tunnel links the lobby of the hotel with Penn Street station. 

As well as a tunnel, the area under the New Yorker Hotel is also home to a power plant, a dining room with an ice floor, and a bank vault. The hotel lobby displays several different relics found in the tunnel, and private tours of the tunnel can be arranged with a private guide. 

Bartow Station

Bartow Station in the Bronx was abandoned in the 1930s and is now almost completely unrecognizable. Hidden in the overgrown Pelham Bay Park you can still find what is left of the station. 

To find the station, take the 6 train to Pelham-Bay Park, followed by the BX29 bus. Get off the bus at City Island Road and head towards Pelham Bit Stables. Once you’re there, follow the horse trail for about half a mile before heading left towards the station. 

Remains of Fort Wadsworth abandoned in New York

Remains of Fort Wadsworth

If you head to Staten Island (the ferry is free, so why not!?) you can find the abandoned remains of Fort Wadsworth on the Easternmost tip of the island. Overlooking New York Harbor, Ford Wadsworth is an abandoned military fortification.  

The site is now part of the Gateway National Recreational Area and is open to the public. If you want to know more about the history of the fort, you can join a tour with the local rangers on site.

Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins

Located on Roosevelt Island, you can find the now-abandoned Smallpox Hospital ruins. The hospital was opened in 1856, but by the 1950s both the hospital and the nurse's schools were closed. 

The buildings eventually fell into disrepair, despite attempts to both preserve them and open them up to the public. While you can’t explore the inside of the hospital, you can see it from passing boats in the East River and through the fence on the island. 

Are you visiting New York in 2024? The Hotel Beacon is located in the heart of the action and just minutes away from some of New York’s best attractions.