Three posts in three days, I must be on a roll, or enjoying my long weekend. That or I need a break from reading countless of books for my MBA class. It is nice though having a break compared to last weekend. First Gettysburg, see below, and then New York. The joys of the open road. I was suggested to check out an abandoned location on Roosevelt Island. It simply goes by the name “Smallpox Hospital” or its official name “Renwick Smallpox Hospital”.
The hospital was made to quarantine citizens that had smallpox and incoming immigrants that were already infected. Roosevelt Island is situated across from Manhattan and the hospital was built in 1856. Eventually the hospital closed in 1875 and reopened as a training center for nurses. Later in the 1950’s the building was closed and left to be taken over by the earth. Of course I researched the location before actually going to make sure I can get in. That came with mixed reviews. Some said it was gone, others said it was still there but heavily guarded, and another stated it is being fixed up to be opened again. I decided to take my chances and see for myself.
After a 2 hour drive I arrived in Manhattan and took a Tramway Car. You can see that in one of my pictures. It is a little red car that suspends in the air to cross the river. Almost like a ski lift, but you are more secured. Once on ground, Roosevelt Island is a quiet little place that is close to the city, but you almost feel like you aren’t part of the busy and fast paced streets.
Getting to the hospital is quite easy, once off the Tramway car, just turn left and walk towards the functioning hospital and a few feet later you are there. It is about a half a mile, nothing to tire you out. It was nice though seeing someone walking a Corgi, but he only had one eye! I had to mention this tidbit, because I love Corgis.
Getting to the hospital, it was clear that someone is putting up a couple million dollars to restore this beautiful Gothic structure. It is going to take a while though, there is no doors, no windows, and it has been since taken over by trees and grass. Then again, it is nice seeing something this beautiful getting another chance. If only other abandon places were that lucky.
Unfortunately it isn’t an easy hop the fence and you can walk around. There was someone patrolling the area, and the fence was very high with no way of climbing. Not to mention there was a good amount of people walking around observing the structure. It should be mentioned that since it is abandoned, it is unsafe, but also it is now a construction site, which makes it even more unsafe.
I was only able to snap a few pictures, because the fence does make it tough to have good visibility, but it was nice seeing the place inhabited by two cats. My visit wasn’t a total waste; I was able to get pictures of being around Roosevelt Island and I now have a new favorite. It was nice seeing a different side of New York that wasn’t congested with people.
I hope that when this hospital is officially finished, it will be available for the public to walk around inside. I wouldn’t mind walking around inside now; there is a certain beauty in buildings in ruins. It is a beauty that can only be created, not by man, but from the inside in of itself.