Sunday, December 17, 2017

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary Visit

Welcome back! It’s been a while and I’m glad to be posting again. The blogger app hasn’t been updated to ios11 which also is quite lame and makes it more difficult to post. For those of you not aware of the famous Eastern State Penitentiary, here is a little summary of its history.
 Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone. (From


Operating Room


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Brooklyn Navy Yard

Welcome to the Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Brooklyn Navy Yard was a shipyard built in 1801 that produced warships for the US Navy and was originally 200 acres. The tremendous efforts of the 70,000 workers during WWII earned the yard the nickname "the can-do shipyard". In November of 1964 the yard's closure was announced due to excess payroll and building operating expenses in the Navy. The yard was officially decommissioned in 1966 and the yard was sold to the City of NYC in 1967. In 1976 Seatrain shipbuilding agreed to lease the yard to build Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) and container ships for Seatrain Shipping Lines. They ended up building 4 VLCC ships, 8 barges, and one ice breaking barge. In 1979 Seatrain closed their operations making Coastal Dry Dock and Repair Corporation the only company with operations inside the yard. They leased a few small dry docks and office buildings and later closed in 1987. 

While some buildings from admirals row have been listed for historic preservation, most have been or are in the process of being torn down. 
Today, more than 200 businesses operate at the yard and employ about 5,000 people. Brooklyn Grange Farms operates a 65,000-square-foot commercial farm on top of Building 3. Steiner Studios is one of the yard's more prominent tenants with one of the largest production studios outside of Los Angeles. Many artists also lease space and have established an association called Brooklyn Navy Yard Arts. While most of the yard has been converted to offices and manufacturing, GMD Shipyard corp has taken over operations of the dry docks. 

Railway bridge for railroad ferry crossings
 Below: Dinosaurs are extinct, but these dinosaurs still tower above the docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard rusting away.

For more information on the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard or the Bldg92 Museum visit BLDG 92

For any other information visit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation

Thanks for visiting. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Other Side: A behind the scenes tour of the South Side of Ellis Island

Welcome to the Other Side:
I take you on a behind the scenes tour of the South Side of Ellis Island. An area of hospitals and support buildings for the island that haven't been touched or open to the public for over 50 years.
 Above: View of Manhattan from Ellis Island
For many, Ellis Island was the first stop after their long journey to a better life. The American Dream started for many immigrants who stepped foot on this island. 

After a long, adruous overseas journey in typically very bad conditions, you were processed on Ellis Island for entry into the US. Over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island from 1892 until the 1930's. Since 1990, the north side of the Island has been an operating immigration museum, however the story of the South Side of the island is forgotten by many and has primarily been untold. The south side was where immigrants who were sick (both mentally and physically) were sent for treatment. After treatment, If you were deemed fit for American Life, you were sent to the mainland to begin your own American Dream. If not, you were sent back to your country. When the hospital campus opened in 1902 it was deemed as the most extensive and modern hospital in the world. It was also the first major public health system in the Nation. In the 30's the hospital and Ellis Island saw a steep decline in immigrants due to tightening restrictions on immigration. Eventually the FBI took up offices here and then during WWII American Servicemen were treated here in addition to housing for German Prisoners of War. The last occupants were the Coast Guard who left the island abandoned in 1954. 

The following pictures were taken on an authorized hard hat trip by Save Ellis Island. For my fellow UrbExer's, I do not recommend unauthorized entry at this site.

Above and Below: Laundry

 Above and Below: Doctors Classroom
 Modern surgery techniques and treatments were taught to doctors from all around the world in this classroom which was considered a very state of the art facility and learning center.

 Above: Ellis Island South, looking at Miss Liberty

I hope you enjoyed this visit and tour of Ellis Island South. Stay tuned for behind the scenes at the Brooklyn Naval Yard coming up next.