June 10, 2009

What is the secret of North Brother Island? (videos, photo )


What is the secret of North Brother Island? (videos, photo )

"North Brother Island is an island in the East River situated between the Bronx and Riker's Island. Its companion, South Brother Island, is a short distance away. The island was uninhabited until 1885, when Riverside Hospital moved there from the island now known as Roosevelt Island. Riverside Hospital was founded in the 1850s as the Smallpox Hospital to treat and isolate victims of that disease; its mission eventually expanded to other quarantinable diseases. Typhoid Mary was confined to the island for over two decades until she died there in 1938. The hospital closed shortly thereafter.

After World War II, the island housed war veterans who were students at local colleges, and their families. Once the nationwide housing shortage abated the island was abandoned again. In the 1950s a center opened to treat adolescent drug users. The facility claimed to be the first to offer treatment, rehabilitation, and education facilities to young drug offenders. By the early 1960s widespread staff corruption and patient recidivism forced the facility to close.

The island is currently abandoned and off-limits to the public. A dense forest conceals the ruined hospital buildings, but supports one of the area's largest nesting colonies of Black-crowned Night Heron. See photos here

What is the secret of North Brother Island? (videos, photo )

Posted at June 10, 2009 12:32 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)