Haunting Photos Of The Abandoned Governor's Island In NYC

Governor's Island, Nathan Kensinger, NYC

Photo: Nathan Kensinger

Governor’s Island, just off the southern tip of Manhattan and its financial district has sat abandoned since 1996 when the former federal run military and then Coast Guard base was closed.In 2003, it was “sold” to the city of New York for the nominal price of $1. The island’s management body, the Trust for Governor’s Island, has been engaging artists and developers to flesh out the remnants of the island’s military past and turn it into a tourist attraction. 

Tour Governor’s Island here >

Parts of the island have become National Monuments, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams, two of three military fortifications on the island. However, most of the building’s on the island remain in a state of disrepair. Now, a variety of art installations, small parks and playgrounds and other amenities can be found. 

Photographer and filmmaker Nathan Kensinger explores abandoned and former industrial spaces throughout New York City. He has spent years photographing Governor’s Island capturing the remaining abandoned buildings on the island.

As he explains it, “Half of the approximately 100 buildings on the island are in some state of decay, including a supermarket, auto body repair shop, movie theatre and hospital. Many of the other buildings are controlled ruins, minimally cleaned up to allow limited public access. Walking through this deserted landscape is a surreal experience, especially when considering its close proximity to the bustling financial centre of lower Manhattan.”

A fallen sign sits in front of abandoned buildings on Governor's Island.

Hospital Kitchen

Coast Guard Bedroom

theatre Lobby

Church Interior

Bulldozer Playground

Game Time

Water's Edge

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