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Haunting, Abandoned Island In New York City (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post   Jonah Green   First Posted: 01/20/11 09:27 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

Walter Benjamin once described progress as "one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage" as the past is quickly erased by new ideas and infrastructure. But there are a few rare spots in New York City where you can glimpse the past freely. Like the long-abandoned Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island. Untouched since the 1963, the island was used as a hospital and quarantine spot, and is now a forgotten ghost town overrun by weeds and decay. Forgotten NY says that island is located "in the East River, east of Port Morris, Bronx and west of Rikers Island." Photographer Ian Ference documented the hauntingly beautiful site with these photos below (for more on the history of the space, visit his website).

Riverside Hospital, the name of the facility on the island throughout its various incarnations, treated everything from smallpox and leprosy to venereal disease and heroin addiction; after the Second World War, it housed soldiers who were studying under the GI bill. The entirety of the island has been abandoned since 1963; over a dozen buildings remain, in various states of disrepair.
Check out the mysterious abandoned island below:

Photos courtesy of Ian Ference

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