Saturday, April 12, 2008

North Brother Island, New York

Did you know that there is an abandoned island in the middle of New York?

Nor did I until an article in The Architect's Newsletter. It deals with Christopher Payne's explorations of the North Brother Island in the East River and its abandoned institutional buildings:

While photographing sites for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Payne first saw the island from afar. “I felt like I had found a lost city in a jungle, and yet here I was in New York City,” Payne said. His boat, he realized, was too big to get close to the island’s ruined dock. “Here was this lost world, a hundred feet away, that I couldn’t get to.”

On a second trip, he found its buildings—a hospital, power plant, boiler, morgue, housing, cistern, and other infrastructure—receding into the landscape. “It’s strange to look at old photos and see how it functioned, how clear it was, a modern, open campus,” he said. “It’s amazing how quickly Nature reclaims what’s Hers.”

See Christopher Payne's own website for more photographs.

Thanks to Progressive Reactionary.