America’s Most Endangered Historic Places 2012

It’s been a while since I updated, but wanted to share some great news! Ellis Island’s south side hospitals were recently chosen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the most endangered historic places in 2012. They asked me to go out and shoot the current state of the place, and I think I got some really telling photos. See the below links for more information (and more of my photos)!

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Explore America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Huffington Post (my photos run 15-22)
America’s Most Endangered Historic Places 2012 (PHOTOS)

Time Magazine
See ’em Before They Disappear: The 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the U.S.

Untapped Cities
The Ellis Island South Side Hospitals: a healthcare marvel in decay

USA Today (see slideshow)
America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

The Weather Channel
America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

CBS News
2012’s Most Endangered Historic U.S. Places

Architectural Record
National Trust Announces America’s 11 Most Endangered Sites

International Business Times
America’s Most Endangered Historic Places in 2012

Business Insider
The 11 Most Endangered Historical Sites in America

Preservation Nation
Announcing America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2012

I’m hoping to  bring more good news about Ellis soon, and post a blog entry with even more photos than those seen here.

The Charles/Bijou Theatre

Built in 1926, the Bijou Theatre (which would later be known as the Charles) originally served as a film house, though by the end of its days was used by a church. It now sits, stripped, waiting for demolition to be completed to make way for a new church and high rise apartments.

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Worcester State Hospital

View of the front of admin, 2008

One of the few remaining Kirkbride buildings in Massachusetts, these days only the center administration building with clocktower remains. I made a point to go shoot it as demolition was beginning on the remaining wing, four or so years ago, and spent sunset recently shooting the exterior of the clocktower again. Being entirely boarded, other than the top floor, it was difficult to get shots and I wasn’t terribly good at long exposures at that point, but here’s a look at a now mostly-demolished hospital. In the place of the wings new facilities for the hospital have been built, and it was surreal returning, unable to recognize the campus.

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North Brother Island- ceramics

Sometimes artifacts are left in buildings, sometimes they’re found scattered on the grounds, and in the case of islands, rummaging through the sediment and buildup at low tide can reveal treasures. North Brother Island has unfortunately been heavily scrapped, and very little in the way of artifacts actually remains.

Which is why it was amazing to discover that the facility, known as Riverside Hospital, actually had branded dishware. Two broken pieces of a plate, stamped “Riverside” with laurel leaves and a DH, which I can only assume stands for Department of Health. The back of the plate was inscribed with a very faint “Greenwood China, Trenton NJ” which, after a bit of research, turned out to be from the pottery company Messrs. Stephens, Tanis & Co. established in 1861. The particular mark on the plate was first used in 1886. While it seems difficult to further narrow down the date this plate was created beyond the stamp, knowing Riverside Hospital was founded in the 1850s as a smallpox hospital makes me wonder if these plate remnants really are well over 100 years old, and existed before the General Slocum crash on the island’s shores.

Either way, a fascinating find, giving a little more insight into the daily life of the quarantine patients in the early years of the hospital.

The Tent of Tomorrow

Living in New York City, I’ve been fascinated by the remnants of the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens. While the Unisphere is obviously the main attraction, I’d always been more interested in the decaying New York State Pavilion, which I only recently learned was also called the Tent of Tomorrow. The entire retro, yet futuristic feel of the World’s Fairs have always appealed to me.  As one friend so aptly put it, they were filled with a naive optimism, in a time where countries were racing to be the first into space, and where structures almost looked more like a mix between 1930s art deco mixed with some vague science fiction ideas of what the future may be. In fact I’ve found reference to the style of the structure being Futurist.

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Mouldering State Hospital

Originally built to be a prison, this sprawling campus was repurposed after community complaints into a state hospital. Operating from 1924 until the mid 90’s, It is currently being demolished.

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Abandoned Lighthouse

I recently took a several week exploring expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, and enjoyed a lot of night shooting, particularly with the mass of clustered stars only visible far south. I’ll be updating more regularly now that I’m back.

Built in 1973, this lighthouse has been inactive since 1992

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