Lost But Not That Lost
September 20, 2014 1:52 PM   Subscribe

 
Someone needs to add "ruinporn" as a tag.
posted by Fizz at 2:07 PM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also nice: watch Permanent Vacation.
posted by glhaynes at 2:07 PM on September 20, 2014


Atlas Obscura is a great site. Not just ruin porn (though there's plenty of that), but all manner of unique and unusual sites around the world. Everything from outsider architecture, to extraordinary geology, to site-specific art. I recommend following them on Facebook if that sounds like the gravy for your biscuits.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:19 PM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


:: cough Blockhouse No. 1 cough ::
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 2:28 PM on September 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


Not All Buildings Who Wander Are Lost
posted by GuyZero at 2:39 PM on September 20, 2014


Very cool link. And Atlas Obscura is really a wonderfully site. I don't have the opportunity to travel like I once did, but goodness if I did that site would be invaluable -- it's filled with the sort of things that make a road trip a road trip.

As far as the NYC ruins: once upon a time I taught high school in NYC and we'd do a really fantastic assignment that, as part of the history of NYC, gave the story of the Croton Aqueduct and its part in making the city what it is today. After the kids got the context, we went out to High Bridge in the Bronx, and attempted to re-walk the path of the aqueduct from high bridge to Jerome Park Reservoir. As the article mentions, the path disappears into the city streets, so you'd get a gaggle of high schoolers looking around at an intersection, thinking like engineers: "Ok, if I was going to build a gravity-fed aqueduct, which way would I go??" That, plus the inevitable "Hey, what are you guys doing?" that'd we get every couple hundred feet or so made the (roughly) two mile walk wonderfully engaging.

One year, as the kids formulated their initial route leaving High Bridge, myself and the other chaperones got the "Hey, what are you guys doing?" question by a park employee. We gave him the rundown, and he introduced himself as the manager for the High Bridge, and invited us in to have a look. So we got to head in here and get a 5 minute run down of what it takes to 'maintain' a ruin (oxymoron!) at a level so that it's not a hazard for falling bricks or other sorts of structural failures.

However cool or exclusive it felt to get special access to the bridge, I think it's great that it's getting second life as pedestrian bridge. Or, here's to hoping that the other ruins here find similar, accessible reincarnations in the urban life cycle.
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 4:16 PM on September 20, 2014 [11 favorites]


There's a row of picturesquely ruined Victorian-era houses along Flushing Ave, in Brooklyn, called Admiral's Row. I believe the adjacent Navy Yard owns the property, which is at perpetual risk of demolition and redevelopment. You can't get in to poke around (legally), which is probably good, because a lot of the roofs and doorways are caving in, or are poised to.

However, the view is pretty up-close and personal, with the houses just feet from the fence, which made a welcome distraction the several times I had to trudge miles down Flushing to retrieve my towed car from the Navy Yard's impound lot. Too close to the fire hydrant, of course.
posted by Zerowensboring at 5:57 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to nominate The Standard Hotel, on the corner of 5th St and the Bowery. Technically, not a ruin. But it did ruin the fuckin neighborhood. Or at least the view.
posted by Zerowensboring at 6:02 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Scouting New York!
posted by mon-ma-tron at 6:20 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Scouting New York

Somewhat disappointed to find that this wasn't a Moonrise Kingdom style Scout group.
posted by arcticseal at 6:34 PM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not sure how I feel about my former home (Governors Island) being included among a ruins list... rather depressing.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:34 PM on September 20, 2014


uh...so, I wrote this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 PM on September 20, 2014 [38 favorites]


There's a row of picturesquely ruined Victorian-era houses along Flushing Ave, in Brooklyn, called Admiral's Row. I believe the adjacent Navy Yard owns the property, which is at perpetual risk of demolition and redevelopment. You can't get in to poke around (legally), which is probably good, because a lot of the roofs and doorways are caving in, or are poised to.

Admiral's Row is pretty decrepit now. It's all behind construction fencing, and the most you can see is the very rooftops. All but one or two of the houses are slated for demolition, which I think is a damn crime.

(And it's also why it didn't make the cut for this. And I'm not kidding, I did write it. Thanks for posting it, Whelk!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:50 PM on September 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kudos, EC!

I love reading about stuff like this. I'm now poking through some of the other things you've posted, like the frogs in CT.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 7:56 PM on September 20, 2014


The frogs! That's the town where I grew up, so I knew ALLLLL about the small town legend bit. But writing about it spurred me to get a quote from the local university about "what might have caused that," and that lead to a chain of events which ended up with me sitting in a scientist's kitchen listening to frog mating calls for two and a half hours, which you wouldn't think was fascinating but really, really was.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:02 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Awesome, EC!

I totally want to check out a bunch of these places, and I'm tickled to read a list of interesting sites in NYC where the majority are in Queens - that never happens.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 9:20 PM on September 20, 2014


Whoa. I can't remember where I got this link from, but I had no idea it was EC.

WORLDS COLLDING..
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Great article EC! Nerds of a certain age will also remember the New York State Pavilion featuring the floating head(s) of William Allen White, also some views of the actual map as John Linnell is being scooted all over it.
posted by mcrandello at 1:04 AM on September 21, 2014


Thanks!

I actually wrote about the pavilion a second time, in a piece about "relics of the New York Worlds' Fairs". That was actually a much longer, earlier piece about such Worlds' Fair relics in a bunch of cities, but when I turned it in it was about ten pages long and my editor decided to serialize it, so it became eight or so separate articles. (My editor has also gently stated, ever since, that "and this should be short...." when assigning me article ideas.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:22 AM on September 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's cool that the picture called Servicemen's Housing on Governor's Island says "Project for the New American Century". Sort of a ruin within a ruin.
posted by sneebler at 6:50 AM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I cannot begin to tell you how much I wish I could have gotten inside the GI houses. Or any of the buildings on GI that haven't been made over into museums or pop-up craft stores or whatever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:23 AM on September 21, 2014


Cool beans. Someone should write one called "weird low density areas right in the middle of the city" about the crazy place like Riverside and that bulge in Astoria near Socrates Park where there are single family homes with yards and nobody ever goes there.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:27 AM on September 21, 2014


.....actually, on my own blog I have a section where I'm going to visit every neighborhood in New York (as defined by Wikipedia) and will write about it. It's kind of stalled right now(I'm more interested in rural hiking lately) but will pick up in fall, I think.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:09 AM on September 21, 2014


...every neighborhood in New York...

Don't forget The Hole; I'm sure it's already on your list.
posted by Zerowensboring at 1:22 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Loosely related to this might be Wikipedia's list of Long Island Gold Coast Mansions.
"There are ruins of mansions and other structures that are of interest to many."
(Like the designers for Baz Luhrmann's glittery art deco film of The Great Gatsby.)
posted by ovvl at 2:28 PM on September 21, 2014


There's a row of picturesquely ruined Victorian-era houses along Flushing Ave, in Brooklyn, called Admiral's Row.

is this still there? the more i look around online, the more conflicting reports i see about it getting demolished for a grocery store complex or not.
posted by emptythought at 7:37 PM on September 21, 2014


is this still there? the more i look around online, the more conflicting reports i see about it getting demolished for a grocery store complex or not.

They are going to tear most of the houses down. One is being preserved and turned into a museum/thing. But the rest of them are just too decrepit.

They've not begun yet; but there's a tall wood wall, the kind that you see at construction sites, and all you can see of the houses are the very top floors and the roofs.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 PM on September 21, 2014


Atlas Obscura is a great site.

They also have a channel on Google's location-aware smartphone app, Field Trip (Android, iOS).

Go near one of the sites that Atlas Obscura has cataloged while Field Trip is running in the background on your phone, and a notification will sound, letting you know that you can open Field Trip to read about the nearby point of interest. Of course, that's just one of the dozens of channels on the Field Trip app, but it's certainly one of my favorites.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:04 AM on September 22, 2014


and that bulge in Astoria near Socrates Park where there are single family homes with yards and nobody ever goes there.

Hey I go there, I live there! :) The neighborhood is Old Astoria and yeah there are some very cool 19th century single-family homes.

Thanks for this post, The Whelk, and for the article EmpressCallipygos. So happy to see the pictures of the smallpox hospital; it is lovely. My grandparents worked there (she was a nurse, he a doctor).

Or maybe they were at City Hospital (next door, I think it was demolished?); my grandmother was never clear on specifics. Many years ago she told me they worked at a hospital "at the southern end of Welfare Island," and it took me a while to put that together with Roosevelt Island (duh). She said there used to be a car elevator that would lower cars from the Queensboro Bridge to the island. That was before their time... must not have been in operation for that long, as she said it was in disrepair when they were there.
posted by torticat at 12:13 PM on September 22, 2014


Oh! Okay, there is a hospital at the southern end that's being demolished now to make way for Cornell; that particular hospital is just to the north of this smallpox hospital. If it was your grandparents, it'd probably be that one where they met.

Although the former smallpox hospital was used as dorms for nurses in the early 20th century, so hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:20 PM on September 22, 2014


No you're right, Goldwater has to be the one--my grandfather had contracted polio while working in one of the last outbreaks. Not sure how I missed Goldwater years ago when I was researching this. I was never really sure about the timeline since both City/Charity Hospital and the Smallpox hospital (then a training center I think) would have been closing about the time my grandparents were there, mid-to-late-50s.

Wow, I've seen Goldwater a thousand times and always thought it was residential, never realized it was a hospital. Thanks much, EC. I think I might send this link (pretty cool in its own right) to my grandma and see if anything looks familiar.
posted by torticat at 12:59 PM on September 22, 2014


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