One of 36 (42 in low tide) uninhabited New York City Islands, North Brother Island is a 20-acre piece of land in the East River between the Bronx and Rikers Island that was once home to a quarantine hospital. Currently off-limits to the public, the island became the home of Riverside Hospital for smallpox patients in 1885; “Typhoid Mary” Mallon was quarantined on the island until her death in 1938. This drone video footage offers a rare and hauntingly beautiful view of the island’s decaying bridges and buildings overgrown by forest.
North Brother Island
Remains of Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island, via Wiki Commons
Thanks to the underground world of urban explorers, there aren’t many parts of New York City that the public hasn’t seen. One such explorer, photographer Christopher Payne, took special interest in North Brother Island, the 20-acre piece of land in the East River between the Bronx and Rikers Island that was once home to a quarantine hospital and the residence of Typhoid Mary.
The island of building ruins and birds is not open to the public, but between 2008 and 2013 Payne was granted exclusive visitation access. He’ll share his photos and findings in an upcoming event at the Museum of the City of New York called “The Last Unknown Place in New York City: A Conversation About North Brother Island.”
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