02/25/2015 03:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

New York City's Forgotten Places Turned Into Art

By Lindsey DeSimone for Architectural Digest.


Vines entangle a former dormitory at Letchworth Village, a state institution that operated from 1911 to 1996 on the outskirts of New York City.

Though we know New York City today as a place of bright lights and big buildings, Abandoned NYC (Schiffer Publishing, $35) provides a captivating look into the city's quieter side. Photographer Will Ellis uncovered long-forgotten structures in the five boroughs, often resorting to trespassing to access locations.


Sun streams into the Freedom Tunnel, a formerly out-of-service tunnel now operated by Amtrak under Manhattan's Riverside Park.

Ellis began documenting the fascinating, crumbling places he found in a blog, and his new book showcases 150 striking photographs, compiled over three years, from 16 of his favorite locales. The collection offers a rare glimpse into the city's past--and a last look at some of the buildings, which have since been demolished to make way for housing to accommodate the continuously expanding population.


A view of the abandoned Renaissance Ballroom in Harlem.

Click here for more of NYC's abandoned places.

More from Architectural Digest:

  • 16 Extra-Large Kitchens to Drool Over

  • Sarah Jessica Parker's Epic East Village Townhouse

  • The Most Gorgeous Ski Results Around the World

  • Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady's Gorgeous L.A. Home