Looking to explore some abandoned places in New York? Check out 38 of my favorite abandoned locations throughout the state.
Abandoned Places In New York
1. Jackson Sanatorium
Nathanial Bingham constructed the structure for the first time in 1854. He believed that the waters had “healing” qualities, so he built the Jackson as “Dansville Water Cure Facility” as a spa, but business was slow, and he fell ill, so he sold the land to Dr. Jackson, a major believer in hydrotherapy.
He renamed The Jackson “Our Home On the Hill” after renovating it. It was initially designed for people who had recently experienced nervous breakdowns and wanted to rest and heal.
Following the Civil War, wealthy individuals enjoyed visiting The Jackson to refresh themselves in natural springs; it also became a famous venue for lecturing.
Bernarr Mcfadden, an entrepreneur who embraced workouts, bought the building in 1929. He transformed the hotel into a haven for superstars and the affluent. The hotel had a lot of customers and was thriving again.
Following Mcfadden’s death in 1955, William Fromcheck purchased the hotel, and it closed for the season on Labor Day in 1971.
After Fromcheck died, the Jackson was left without an owner, and everything in the building was taken and sold. Other owners attempted to do something with the building, but all efforts were in vain and the structure collapsed.
2. Wells Falls
Originally, the property was home to a grist mill developed in the 1880s by James and John E. Van Natta. This is the same Van Natta family that assisted in the building of Ithaca Gun Works on the Ithaca Falls site.
The mill was superseded in 1893 by a pumping station that used the same dam. The station provided drinking water for the city, but when a typhoid outbreak occurred in 1903, locals blamed the new water supply and the plant’s rushed construction. As a result, a purification plant was built nearby.
The pump station was upgraded in 1906, and the dam was upgraded in 1925. The facility was closed in the 1940s. In the 1980s, there was a proposal to turn the site into a hydropower station, but nothing came of it.
A modern wastewater treatment facility has been built across the street, yet the pumping station still remains. The iconic waterfall always draws a crowd, making this one of the most popular abandoned places in New York.
3. New York State Inebriate Asylum
The New York State Inebriate Asylum, originated in 1854 by Joseph Edward Turner, was America’s first facility dedicated to the medical treatment of alcoholism. Construction on the building, designed by architect Isaac Gale Perry, began in 1858.
In 1879, the structure was turned into a Chronic Insane Asylum. It was later named as Binghamton State Hospital, then Binghamton Psychiatric Center, and it served as a state mental health hospital until 1993, when the building’s exterior deteriorated and necessitated its closure.
The structure has been abandoned since that time and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and one of New York State’s Most Endangered Buildings.
4. Bayley Seton Hospital
Bayley Seton Hospital, located in Staten Island’s Stapleton borough, was founded in 1831 as the Marine Hospital Service. In 2000, the hospital was given over to Saint Vincent’s Medical Catholic Center, which declared bankruptcy in 2003 and soon shuttered.
Bayley Seton’s current campus was built around the Marine Hospital Service facilities. The MHS supplied medical support to naval sailors, and the Seaman’s Retreat, Staten Island’s first hospital, was established here.
The primary building of Bayley Seton was built in the 1930s in the Mayan Revival style and served many veterans and military personnel because to the close proximity of military, naval, and Coast Guard units.
In 1980, the hospital was sold to the Sisters of Charity, who renamed it Bayley Seton after Elizabeth Ann Seton, a New York saint, and her father Richard Bayley, the city’s first top health officer.
The Sisters of Charity handed over the building to Saint Vincent’s Hospital in 2000, but Bayley Seton lost several of its services, including its emergency room and pharmacy, within a few years. Richmond University Medical Program announced the closure of its HIV/AIDS center, as well as adult and pediatric clinics at Bayley Seton. The Salvation Army agreed to buy Bayley Seton and destroy the main hospital to build a recreation complex.
The Salvation Army now owns the property, which has been abandoned and is in severe disrepair.
5. Charles Town USA Mall
Genesee is one of the tougher locations in Connecticut to explore due to its remote location. The ancient remains of Genesee are all that is left of an abandoned Colonial settlement. The story goes that the settlers were initially headed to New York when their wagon wheel broke. With no way to move forward, they settled in the remote woodlands of Connecticut.
Nearby researchers have also discovered ritual stones created by native Americans in the area. The property is hard to get to and only legally accessible with permission from the Regional Water Authority which owns the land.
The mall closed in 1991, and the structure was leased to businesses, but it never received the same level of maintenance and attention again.
Despite the fact that it has been closed for over 20 years, there is still a lot of material in the building, including clothes, laptops, and old papers. Many stores still had signage, and restaurants kept all of their kitchen equipment and glassware on the premises.
The building’s state varies enormously from one part to the next. Some parts are waterlogged, moldy, and crumbling, while others appear to be unaffected.
6. New York City Farm Colony
The Staten Island Farm Colony, which has been abandoned for nearly 40 years, is now a haunting reminder of its dark and tragic past. According to AbandonedNYC, the Farm Colony’s dilapidated structures are shrouded in trees and vines and are only visible from November to May in the heart of Greenbelt’s beautiful forest.
Throughout its history, the Farm Colony’s grounds have been connected with society’s “unwanted.” During the colonial farm era of the nineteenth century, there was a flurry of construction activities aimed at accommodating the poor, infirm, mentally ill, and developmentally challenged.
On a more tragic note, in the 1920s kidnapping and death of a seven-year-old boy took place on the Farm Colony’s grounds. The Farm Colony neighborhood claimed to have seen an old man and a small kid going in the woods on the day the youngster went missing, and all fingers pointed to famous serial killer Cropsey.
Another event at adjacent Willowbrook State School reinforced the neighborhood’s violent instincts. Andre Rand, a guy who supposedly lived in the abandoned site’s tunnels, is accused of a spree of child murders in the 1970s and 1980s. Jennifer Shwweiger’s body was discovered not far from where he had set up camp in 1987.
The Farm Colony is currently a declared historic district; however, the city has done nothing to maintain the building structures in the region. Several requests have been made to convert the structures into something useful, but few people have indicated an interest.
Given the history, some claim this to be one of the more haunted abandoned places in New York, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
7. Red Hook Grain Terminal
THE RED HOOK Grain Elevator is a behemoth of an antique on the Brooklyn waterfront, a relic from the golden age of grain shipping.
This century-old remnant stands alone at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal, its industrial sisters (the Todd Shipyard and Revere Sugar Refinery) having been dismantled, but it was never very functional even in its own day.
Built in 1922, the area is effectively a bomb bunker, with the silos made fireproof to house combustible grain.
As disputes rage for the property’s future, the Red Hook Grain Terminal looms above the Henry Street Basin like a bereaved ghost on a widow’s walk, watching for ships that will never return.
8. Glenwood Power Plant
The Glenwood/Yonkers power station, linked with the New York Central and Hudson River Railroads, is located seven miles north of Manhattan Island. The plant was developed by Minnesota-based architects Reed and Stern as a result of an act established after 1900 to electrify New York’s metropolitan railroads.
Because electrical transportation power was still in its infancy, the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad leadership commissioned the architects to design two power plants: The Glenwood/Yonkers facility and its sibling plant in Port Morris, Bronx.
The Glenwood plant began to collapse in 1936, when the New York Central Railroad began purchasing energy rather than producing it. The facility was sold to Consolidated Edison of New York and continued to produce energy until it was decommissioned in 1963.
The huge turbines and boilers were dismantled and discarded shortly after the plant’s demise. The majority of the circuit boards, furnishings, and other generic items were abandoned. The plant’s ruins gradually deteriorated into a mid-twentieth-century urban industrial ruin. Some walls have crumbled into brick mounds. The surviving graffiti-covered standing facade frames smashed glass and a decrepit interior.
The decay and advanced overgrowth make this one of my favorite abandoned places in New York to photograph, especially in summer.
9. Smallpox Memorial Hospital
Cities began to make efforts at the end of the 1800s to keep smallpox patients separate from the rest of the population. Fortunately for New Yorkers, the entire city is an archipelago. So, in 1856, the city established the Renwick Smallpox Hospital, which was fully isolated from the rest of the neighborhood by waterways. During its 19-year operation, the hospital served approximately 7,000 patients per year, with approximately 450 patients dying there each year.
In 1875, the building was converted into a nurses’ dormitory, and the hospital was relocated to North Brothers Island. However, by the 1950s, the hospital had fallen into disrepair and had been abandoned by the city. It sat fully abandoned until the city proclaimed it a city landmark in 1975. Even yet, no one used the building, and it remained in ruins.
However, in 2009, developers proposed a $4.5 million initiative to repair and modernize the facility. Although the Gothic Revival architecture has not been fully abandoned, the developers have not completed the project. They fortified the building’s walls to prevent them from collapsing on anyone, and they constructed a lighting system so that people could explore the eerie site after the sun went down.
In the meanwhile, anyone with an adventurous spirit and a flashlight is welcome to explore the hospital’s remains. However, be advised that it may not be a pleasant visit—the hospital has the distinction of being one of America’s most haunted places.
10. Al-Tech Steel
The properties have only been used for the manufacturing of stainless steel and activities related to the production of stainless steel. The site was developed for this purpose in 1910. Disposal of coal ash from early furnaces; storage and distribution of fuel oil; storage including the use of diverse acids for pickling steel products.
This location is infamous for its safety hazards. The site as a whole is devoid of active commercial or industrial activities. Due to hazardous material pollution, the area was closed and made off-limits to humans in 1994.
It is classified as a Class 2 Superfund Site, which means it poses a significant risk to public health and the environment. Some cleaning has been done, but more is on the way. It was decommissioned in 1999 and is now classified as a hazardous waste plant by the EPA.
Of all the abandoned places in New York, Al-Tech Steel is among the most dangerous due to it’s many hazards.
11. Buffalo State Hospital
In 1870, a new facility entitled the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane was to be built in upstate New York. The new hospital was designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson, who was given the opportunity to showcase his own architectural style, which is now known as Richardsonian Romanesque. The building process began in 1872.
When it first welcomed patients in 1880, the hospital was still under construction. The administration section and the eastern wing for male patients were finished first, giving the hospital a strange asymmetrical appearance.
Consequently, the remaining three wards on the eastern side of the Kirkbride building were removed in the late 1960s to make room for the new structures. The institution was renamed Buffalo Psychiatric Center in 1974.
Following a successful lawsuit filed by the Preservation Coalition of Erie County in 2008, the state of New York committed $100 million to the structure’s renovation. That year, initial repairs were performed to seriously damaged areas of the building. Its fate remains undetermined.
12. Hudson River State Hospital
Hudson River State Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, began construction in 1868, and the first patients were admitted in 1871. Hudson River State Hospital was unrivaled in magnitude and splendor until financing was depleted and building was eventually halted. There was much debate at the time about how far over budget and behind schedule it was, but the end result was nothing short of phenomenal.
The abandoned mental facility in Poughkeepsie has long been a source of chills, thrills, and fascination for teens growing up in the Hudson Valley. It’s difficult to deny the appeal. The wrecked mental hospital sings a frightening seduction song to explorers, photographers, and curious minds that seek the chance to peer into the abandoned, potentially haunted hallways from its spectacular, albeit isolated, vantage point on Route 9.
13. Bennett College
The main structure, Halcyon Hall, was constructed in 1890 with designs for a luxury hotel, as a personal project undertaken by rich New York publisher H.J. Davidson Jr. The hotel was intended to be part hotel, part museum, with literature and objects from all around the world.
According to Opacity.us, an urban exploration website, the original building was designed as a sanctuary for the wealthy to hide away and snuggle up with a good book among the hall’s comfortable rooms and nooks. The 200-room, 5-story building designed by James E. Ware was constructed with dark wood panels and stone typical of the Queen Anne style.
There is no way of knowing how long the former Bennett College will endure, but its demise will be a sad event. Despite its deterioration, the building was a sight to behold, with its complete wood paneling and stunning front.
Very few abandoned places in New York are as iconic as Halcyon Hall. Photos of the college have captured the imaginations of thousands of people online and in the neighborhood.
14. Ellis Island Immigrant Building
There were eight distinct measles wards on Ellis Island, as well as various isolation units, the general hospital, the psychiatric hospital, and the morgue. Overall, there was significant demand for medical care on the island. These buildings, however, are now abandoned and provide an unnerving representation of what it could have been like to be a patient there.
The hospital buildings were in use from 1902 to 1954, when they were demolished. Following the Immigration Act of 1924, there was a significant decrease in immigration traffic.
The medical buildings have been largely closed to the public since 1954. While the buildings were essentially abandoned by the United States government in 1954, the National Park Service took over the operation of Ellis Island in the 1960s, after it had been included into the Statue of Liberty park. The Ellis Island Museum first opened its doors in 1991. Many of the medical buildings, however, remained in ruin for years.
The Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., which generates funds for the monuments, is now in charge of these structures, but the museum is maintained by the National Parks Service. The hospital complex is not open to walk-in visitors, although guided tours are provided for $58.50 ($53 for seniors). The structure originally housed 750 beds, a tiny number when you consider that 12 million immigrants came through the Ellis Island station in search of a better life.
15. Letchworth Village
Letchworth Village, once a model institution for the treatment of the mentally and physically disadvantaged, has been abandoned. Letchworth Village, located in the town of Haverstraw in Rockland County, is laid out similarly to parts of Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital on Long Island.
Built in 1911, stone buildings are nestled amidst undulating hillside along curved avenues with vintage-style lampposts, and you can immediately perceive the ideal idyll that guided such an institution’s architecture and design. Entrance to the buildings, which are all in disrepair, is prohibited.
In a recurring architectural pattern, you’ll find dormitory structures, administration buildings, officers residences, a former synagogue, and more. The town of Haverstraw keeps the roads free by growing vines on and around the houses and lampposts. A local person feeds and cares for the cats who have taken up residence in the structures.
16. The Pines Resort
The Pines is an abandoned Borscht Belt resort that originated in the 1930s as the Moneka Lodge, a modest mission-style hotel. The Borscht Belt is a section in the Catskill Mountains that historically had many Jewish resort hotels popular with New York City Jews in the mid-twentieth century.
Silverstein and Weiner, the hotel’s original proprietors, sold it to Harry Cohen and May Schweid in 1946, who renamed it the Pines Hotel. The Pines grew into one of the area’s largest hotels over the years and under many owners. However, as time passed, Borscht Belt hotels fell out of favor, resulting in the Pines’ demise.
Prior to its closure, the resort had developed to 400 guest rooms, as well as nightlife, winter sports, and summer entertainment amenities. While there are plenty of abandoned places in New York that are still rotting, I think Pines Resort still deserves a spot on the list.
17. North Brother Island
The Riverside Hospital, which had migrated from Roosevelt Island, was the first to call the island home. It was established to treat smallpox victims and later other quarantinable diseases, but it is arguably best known for being the location where Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon) was isolated for several decades until her death in 1938.
In the decades thereafter, the island has functioned as a living facility for WWII veterans, as well as a rehab center for drug users. By the 1960s, a drop in patient numbers had resulted in the island’s closure to the public.
And it’s stayed that way ever since. The island is now home to a bird sanctuary, but it is still populated by several hospital buildings that are in various states of disrepair. Of all the abandoned places in New York, North Brother Island is one of the toughest places to get to.
18. Cobble Hill Tunnel
The Cobble Hill Tunnel was New York’s first subterranean rail tunnel, but it now lies abandoned underneath Brooklyn’s streets. Many of those who live above are unaware of its existence. The tunnel was part of the Long Island Railroad and was also known as the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. It was 767 meters long and is North America’s oldest railway tunnel. It was constructed in 1844 as part of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railway.
The open cut was built beginning in May 1844 and opened on December 3, 1844. In 1849, the cut was roofed over, transforming it into a 17-foot-high (5.2-meter-high) tunnel. Despite being billed as the world’s first subway tunnel.
The Municipal of Brooklyn prohibited all railroad locomotives from entering the city limits in 1861, and both ends of the tunnel were blocked. When the Bureau of Investigation suspected that German terrorists were using the tunnel to build bombs, it was searched in March 1916. The Cobble Hill Tunnel was forgotten until 1980, when it was rediscovered by 20-year-old Robert Diamond.
A Brooklyn Union Gas Co. engineering crew assisted in breaking down the wall. The tunnel tours began in 1982 and ended on December 17, 2010. In 1989, the Cobble Hill Tunnel was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The tunnel is among the hardest to access abandoned places in New York as the entrance is sealed with concrete leaving an empty void beneath the streets.
19. Neponsit Health Care Center
The abandoned Neponsit Shore Hospital, also known as the Neponsit Children’s Hospital, looms over the beach in Rockaway, Queens, near to Jacob Riis Park. From 1915 to 1955, the hospital served as a tuberculosis sanatorium, and the main structure was created by the renowned architectural company McKim, Mead and White.
For the next two decades, the hospital treated hundreds of juvenile tuberculosis patients, allowing them to bathe in the sea and roam outside under supervision. In 1929, municipal hospitals commissioner Dr. William Schroeder, Jr. announced a hospital expansion that would more than double the hospital’s capacity.
The Neponsit Adult Day Health Care Center relocated to adjacent Rockaway Park in 2004, however the facility remains closed despite many attempts to develop luxury homes on the property, much to the chagrin of local residents. Even during coronavirus outbreaks, a security guard post along Rockaway Beach Boulevard stays operational.
20. Fort Tilden State Batteries
A small strand of overgrown land jumps out into the Atlantic Ocean in the farthest reaches of queens. It runs parallel to Coney Island and Brighton Beach and is home to the ruins of Fort Tilden, America’s Atlantic sea wall defense system.
The now-abandoned military outpost, built in 1917 to safeguard the mainland from the threat posed by World War I, was formerly New York’s first line of defense against German U-Boats and, later, the Russian Fleet.
However, by 1972, the base had been abandoned to the elements. The decrepit houses were overrun by sand dunes and dense foliage. The railway tracks that used to transport shells from silos to batteries grew corroded and overgrown, while the concrete missile launch pads were overgrown with weeds and sand.
Today, going through the complex network of corridors and stumbling over the gigantic concrete monoliths half-buried in the sand, it’s a scenario evocative of Planet of the Apes’ final moments. The abandoned military base is now a calm, rarely used public beach, a Cold War relic waiting for an invasion that will never come.
Fort Tiden is of the few abandoned places in New York that are completely legal to explore.
21. Kings Park Psychiatric Center
This former mental health institute has been abandoned since 1996, and it stands as a legacy of a bygone era. Several of the more than 150 structures that have been on its grounds still stand and captivate the imaginations of many local aficionados.
Since its closure, the entire site has fallen into disrepair, and it now has a peculiar and melancholy beauty. Locals talk about suspected hauntings, and standing in front of the towering Building 93 on a chilly and cloudy winter day, it’s easy to believe them.
KPPC, which was built on 800 acres, quickly evolved into a self-sufficient farming business, complete with its own railroad spurs for coal and supplies. By 1900, KPPC had a population of 2,697 patients and 454 staff members, making it larger than the entire population of the adjacent town of Smithtown. It soon developed to such a large size, with a peak patient count of 9,300 in 1954, that it began to represent many of the issues that its construction was designed to remedy.
KPPC, with its rising towers and severe architecture, now stands in stark contrast to the beauty of the surrounding countryside. The former KPPC’s waterside component is now a protected area of Nissequogue River State Park, and the entire site is only minutes away from the local fishing and boating destination at the end of Old Dock Road. Several sites on the former KPPC grounds offer views of the neighboring ocean and Nissequogue River.
Of all the abandoned places in New York, police arguably watch this one the closest. It’s become one of the most popular places to urban explore. It’s even been reported undercover cops disguise themselves as fellow explorers before writing trespassing tickets.
22. Buffalo Central Terminal
The main Amtrak stop in buffalo, New York is colloquially regarded as “America’s Saddest Train Station.” It is a simple, one-story brick structure, smaller than a normal dwelling, with a blue tarpaulin covering its roof, which partially collapsed after a storm in September 2016. It represents Buffalo’s recent problems and hardships, the most of which have been economic in nature.
The Buffalo Central Terminal, which was opened in 1929 for the New York Central Railroad, was every bit as large and sumptuous as Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, Philadelphia’s 30th Street station, and Washington, DC’s Union Station.
However, the downturn in Buffalo’s economic fortunes, as well as the rise of domestic airlines and automobiles, meant that the stately Terminal would be demolished. For decades, the structure sat empty, slowly deteriorating, as the neighborhood deteriorated as well. However, the Nickel City spirit is strong.
In addition to restoration activities, the CTRC now conducts 30 events in the historic area each year, including concerts, historical and ghost tours, bike rallies, an annual Train Show, and an Oktoberfest party. Currently, the terminal lacks the resources to host weddings or wedding picture sessions.
Of all the abandoned places in New York, few are as embraced as Buffalo’s Central Terminal.
23. Dahlstrom Metallic Door Company
Charles P. Dahlstrom was an innovator who helped usher in a new era of architectural safety. As the industrial revolution engulfed America, more and more fires erupted as a result of the country’s lack of experience with its new technologies.
Mr. Dahlstrom designed and patented the world’s first fireproof door in 1904. Charles established the Dahlstrom Metallic Door Company in anticipation of high demand for his innovative product.
By the 1920s, hundreds of people were cranking out doors and matching trim at the Dahlstrom® factory. The Dahlstrom® name was found within the walls of structures such as the United States Capitol Building, the Empire State Building, and the Rockefeller Center.
The Dahlstrom facility was the largest and most important in Jamestown during its peak. By 1920, the enterprise had eleven buildings and 500 employees. However, Charles Dahlstrom did not live to witness the full benefits of his efforts. He died on April 10, 1909, in Jamestown, at the age of 36.
The company is still in operation, however, the main building is abandoned. The Dahlstrom Metallic Door Company is one of the lesser-known abandoned places in New York, hence the lack of photos of the location.
24. Mohasco Power Plant
The Mohasco powerhouse was constructed around 1914. The structure supplied both energy and high-pressure steam to the adjacent carpet mills. The plant ran on coal and used water from the Chuchtanunda Creek to generate steam and discharge garbage. The facility, along with the rest of the neighboring mill complex, went out of business in the 1960s.
Whelly was credited by both Villa and von Hasseln for her past work in getting the Chuctanunda walking trail project launched while working as an economic development expert for Montgomery County. Hikers will be able to walk beside the creek on the route, which will eventually connect to the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge.
The trail follows both sides of the creek. When you got to the top of the trail, you couldn’t cross the creek because this building was there, and the only way to get to the other side of the creek was to go through the building, which isn’t secure or safe for people to travel through.
Of all the abandoned places in New York, there are only a handful of older power stations like this one. If you’re nearby be sure to check it out.
25. Cayadutta Tannery
Back before the Environmental Protection Agency, the tanneries dumped their wastes, chemicals, and dirty water directly into Cayadutta Creek at a rate of 2 million gallons per day, producing supple leather for glove makers. Stories abound of the river changing color with the colors and foaming up into 10-foot-high sudsy crests.
The federal Clean Water Act of 1972, as well as later state and local restrictions, dealt the final blow to Gloversville’s tanneries, requiring enterprises to build their own effluent treatment facilities. Most tanners saw no reason to spend a million dollars or more on a wastewater treatment system when they were already losing business to cheaper suppliers offshore.
Gloversville, named after its glove-making industry, was reported to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in America around the turn of the twentieth century. Whether that is true or not, one thing is certain: tanning and glove making made many families extremely wealthy and employed the vast bulk of the town’s workforce. Gloversville, which had more than 100 leather and glove companies at its peak, produced about 90% of the gloves sold in America between 1880 and 1950.
26. Saratoga Airforce Station
Saratoga Springs Air Force Station, manned by the 656th AC&W Squadron, was established on February 1, 1952, and became operational in 1952. Initially, the station had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and an early warning role.
The early warning role entailed tracking and identifying any aircraft that entered their airspace, but the GCI duty entailed directing Air Force interceptors to any recognized enemy aircraft. Using voice directions through ground-to-air radio, controllers at the station directed fighter planes to the precise route and speed to intercept hostile aircraft.
It is in private hands. Many of the ancient Air Force buildings at the cantonment and main site are still surviving but in declining condition. The primary site appears to be in use, including a cell tower and a tall tower with microwave antennas.
Some of the radar temperate towers remain intact despite the absence of radomes. Many of the structures in the cantonment area are still surviving but in deplorable condition. The cantonment area and main site are both barred by a locked gate. The housing units are still there; however, they are in private hands.
This is one of the few abandoned places in New York that was critical during the Cold War, making it a cool explore and unique piece of US history.
27. Mount Mcgregor Prison
The multi-acre plot of land tucked between Wilton, Moreau, and Corinth has formerly operated as a correctional complex, a TB sanitarium, and a developmentally handicapped institute.
The grounds have been used as a tuberculosis treatment center, a rest camp for World War II soldiers, and a developmentally handicapped center for over a century. According to Empire State Development, it most recently cited a correctional institution where medium-security offenders were confined within perimeter security consisting of a row of fencing topped with coiled blades of razor ribbon. As the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility closed in 2014, ESD issued a comprehensive and architecturally detailed 146-page Report for an Adaptive Re-Use Plan.
Despite the many years of inactivity, the buildings remain substantially intact and structurally sound, and the more than three hundred acres include approximately seventy structures, approximately forty of which are designated as substantial size buildings.
28. Jumping Jack Power Plant
This desolate power plant is located along the Brooklyn waterfront. It sits as a haunting relic of the area’s industrial past, dilapidated and looking as though it could collapse into itself at any minute.
Aside from the fact that it was either a power plant or a pump house, little is known about the crumbling edifice. Some assume that the factory was used until the 1960s based on old papers discovered within.
But life within the building didn’t come to a halt when the power plant shut down. It was most likely a chop shop, based on the bits of old cars scattered across its first level.
Its floors are caked with dust and coal crumbs, and corroded pipes run along the walls. Massive steel beams resemble the shape of a person executing a jumping jack, which is how the intriguing old building got its moniker. Graffiti adorns the rough walls, proving that the old power station has yet to slip into obscurity.
While many of the abandoned places in New York were easy to research, this power plant proved difficult to find solid history on it. If you know more details be sure to let us know!
29. Abandoned Wonder Bread Factory
The 180,000-square-foot Wonder Bread facility on Buffalo’s Belt-line debuted in 1923. The plant also made Hostess brand snacks in addition to bread.
A smokestack with “Ward’s Bakery” spelt out in contrasting brick can be seen from the roof—the Ward Bakery empire encompassed three independent companies: General Baking, Ward Foods, and Continental Baking, producers of Wonder Bread.
The greatest glory of this facility, however, is its rooftop sign, made of massive red metal letters that formerly announced to everyone passing by that Wonder Bread was created within—a fact that their noses had undoubtedly already known.
While there are certainly more exciting abandoned places in New York, the Wonder Bread Factory is odd that it deserves a spot on the list. I personally love shooting the exterior of the classic Wonder Bread sign.
30. Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center
This psychiatric hospital, which closed in 1994, even had its own cemetery.
The Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center on Rt. 22 in Wingdale, NY attempted to heal nearly 5,000 mentally ill patients between 1924 and 1994. According to the website theghostinmymachine.com, HVPC was once its own self-contained community, complete with its own bakery, dairy farm, bowling alley, state-of-the-art operating theatre, dental care center, and morgue.
One of the most disturbing parts of this abandoned psychiatric facility was its own cemetery, known as the Gate of Heaven, which was located on the grounds where hospital prisoners were buried. To ensure patient privacy, the graves were labeled with numbers rather than names.
The majority of the 80 buildings on HVPC’s campus are boarded up and in disrepair, both inside and out. When driving down Rt. 22 and past the abandoned hospital, one can’t help but wonder what kind of horrible things might have happened behind the walls of this psychiatric facility back in the 1950s. Many believe this might be the most haunted of all the abandoned places in New York. For obvious reasons…
31. Donald J. Trump State Park
In 1998 and 2000, the Trump Organization paid $2.75 million for 436 acres of land (in three sections) in the hopes of developing a golf course.
What was the reason for the cheap price? Because the area is wet, mountainous, rocky, and marshy, as well as is protected by environmental rules relating to a neighboring reservoir. It also had a slew of well-heeled Upper Westchester County neighbors who knew how to thwart projects they didn’t want in their back yards. Which they duly did.
Donald J. Trump State Park, as the name suggests, is not a park. If you go, you’ll find simply a parking area and some nondescript woodland with a few routes (no signs or markings) that hikers have worn down over the years. There are also the remains of a few abandoned structures, but don’t go inside—they’re full of asbestos.
32. Rochester Subway Tunnel
From 1927 to 1956, the Rochester subway was a light rail rapid transit route in Rochester, New York. The subway was built in the bed of the former Erie Canal, allowing it to be grade-separated for its entire length. Two miles (3.2 km) of the route through downtown were built in a cut-and-cover tunnel that became Broad Street and the subway’s only underground stretch.
The Rochester Subway was intended to alleviate interurban traffic on city streets while also facilitating freight interchange between railways. The route was operated on a contract basis by New York State Railways until 1938, when it was taken over by Rochester Transit Corporation (RTC). The passenger service ended on June 30, 1956.
While there are many abandoned places in New York, the Rochester subway offers a unique look at architecture and street art that’s accessible to both seasoned and newer urban explorers.
Following the announcement of the fill, the City of Rochester permitted the New York Museum of Transportation to collect rail from the section of the line being filled in 1976. The museum continues to utilize the former rail. When the city decided to fill the section of the tunnel between Brown and the B&O ramp in 2010, the museum was given permission to collect the tunnel’s remaining rail, surviving switches, and other railroad fixtures.
33. Bannerman Castle
Bannerman was the world’s leading weaponry and military surplus trader. At the height of his company’s success, he published a 300-page magazine that could (and did) outfit entire armies all around the world.
Given his huge stockpile of explosive ordnance, he was advised to relocate his company’s storage facilities outside of New York City. Pollepel Island was the ideal location for him to safely store his items.
Bannerman spent the majority of the following two decades, until his death, building additional castles on the island as armories for his business. What you see today are several castles built adjacent to each other and designed to seem like European castles, particularly Scottish castles.
Today, the Bannerman Island Trust operates excursions on the island and, in collaboration with the state, maintains the remaining structures.
The guided excursions stop at various locations throughout the island, and at each location, guides teach more about the island’s intriguing history.
Visitors are not permitted to approach the castle structure due to the instability of the remaining buildings. There are, however, several decent vantage spots from which to view it from 100-200 feet away.
Visitors can also see around the first floor of the Bannerman’s mansion on the island, which is being repaired.
34. Fort Wadsworth
Fort Wadsworth, located on the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge opposite Bay Ridge’s Fort Hamilton, was once the country’s longest continuously-manned military installation. Since the military fort’s closure in 1994, the land has been managed by the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area. It is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The fort began as a Dutch blockhouse circa 1636. The British Constructed Fort Wadsworth in 1779 and utilized it as the primary defensive location for the remainder of the Revolutionary War. Even with simple origins, this makes For Wadsworth one of the oldest abandoned places in New York. During the War of 1812 and the Civil War, troops held the fort. Northern Civil War troops, on the other hand, only stood guard.
The storm forced a portion of a cliff to fall, bringing down numerous enormous trees and exposing the entrance to a previously unknown battery, which was most likely part of the third system built in the 1870s. There are undoubtedly many more hidden secrets within Fort Wadsworth, but only time (or investigation) will uncover long-buried history.
35. Fort Totten
The fort, constructed in 1862 in Queens’ Bayside neighborhood, was intended to protect against Confederate ships approaching New York via the East River. The fort was used as a depot for Nike missiles and anti-aircraft batteries until the 1970s.
Today, the area is a city park where you can roam around and see an unusual and remarkable assortment of buildings. The Civil War fortifications are in ruins and easily accessible, and a small museum is located in the visitor’s center.
36. W. B. Thompson Mansion
The Hudson Valley’s best garden ruins are located off a bustling stretch of Broadway in Yonkers, and it was also the location of a spectacular abandoned mansion for a few years. For the final half of the 1990s, Alder Manor’s mansion stood empty.
Tara Circle, an Irish Cultural Center, and a group of very wonderful individuals are rebuilding the 1912 Italian Renaissance Revival mansion, but the gardens remain in shambles. The gardens, which were deliberately situated in a melancholy of lost splendor, were designed to emulate, and included vestiges of, classical Greek and Roman gardens.
There are several rooms, including a front hall, library, ballroom, dining room, kitchen, and conservatory. Furthermore, there were empty rooms on the ground level that could easily have served as the billiard room, lounge, and study.
The abandoned Boyce Research Institute is across the street from the estate and in FAR worse condition.
37. Hart Island
Hart Island, located in the western Long Island Sound, is close to the Bronx–yet it is frequently unseen and unspoken of. According to Narratively, the island is not in the MTA Subway Map or the Department of Transportation’s bicycle map.
The 101-acre island serves as a separate burial place, the city’s last potter’s field, for individuals whose bodies have gone unclaimed or whose families cannot afford a funeral. The island is no longer populated, but over 1,000,000 people have been buried there since 1869, making it the world’s largest tax-funded cemetery.
Hart Island’s history spans back to the mid-1800s, and it exposes an intriguing past that goes much beyond the island’s current function as a public burial ground. Hart Island, like North Brother Island and Rikers Island, was frequently identified with society’s “unwanted.” During the Civil War, the strip of land was first utilised as a detention camp for Confederate soldiers.
Following the war, New York City purchased the island and began utilizing it as a cemetery in 1869, shortly after the first civilian burial of Louisa Van Slyke. From the American Civil War to World War II.
Hart Island has been solely dedicated to funerals since the 1990s. On weekdays, inmates from Rikers Island are transported over to do burials, disinterment, and maintenance work. Every year, an average of 2000 burials are performed, with approximately one-third of them being infants and stillborn babies.
38. Cornish Estate Ruins
The Metro North Railroad begins with one of the country’s most gorgeous train terminals, Grand Central Station, and runs beside the Hudson River for one of the most breathtaking rail excursions in the country.
Cold Spring, located about an hour into the Hudson Valley, is a wonderfully little community. It was as charming in 1917 as it is today, and it drew newlyweds Edward Joel Cornish and Selina Bliss Carter Cornish. The lovers decided to leave the city and settle on a wooded estate just north of town.
Today, the ruins are overgrown and being reclaimed by the forest. They can be found after a 1.8-mile stroll through the woods.
Standing among the fallen down debris, it’s easy to envision the motorcars pulling into the driveway, the well-to-do passengers thrilled for a weekend away from the city, the servants hauling monogrammed suitcases into the mansion, champagne glasses tinkling on the lawn, and cheerfulness coming from the swimming pool, where there is now only silence.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of abandoned places in New York, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and discover some new places for yourself.