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Your humble narrator.

I started Abandoned NYC in the spring of 2012, after having spent a few months obsessively exploring the city’s abandoned places.  It’s been a labor of love ever since, culminating with the release of my first photo book (of the same name) in February 2015, which got the attention of the New York Times, New York Magazine, Wired, Complex, Slate, and Architectural Digest.

Ruin porn is a nasty phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days as more and more images of abandoned places are saturating the internet.  I’ve got nothing against eye candy, but I like to think the history and commentary I provide here helps enrich the experience and give you some food for thought.  (I try my best to do proper research, relying mainly on the archives of the New York Times.)  I can’t claim that my primary goal is to document these structures before they’re gone as an act of preservation.  But I am hoping to preserve the belief that there is still weirdness, wildness, and mystery in the world, even in an increasingly sanitized city like New York.

If you’ve enjoyed the blog and want to show your support, consider purchasing a book, buying a print, or signing up for a tour.  I also shoot architecture, interiors, and other things.  Take a look through my photo website to see what else I’ve been up to.

Thanks for stopping by,

Will Ellis


6 thoughts on “About

  1. I have pre-ordered the book having read an article about it earlier this morning. I am an aspiring author and found the photographs both beautiful and inspiring. Every single one of them created a story in my head about the secrets each place held. The people who lived there, the experiences they shared, so much unknown, so many stories that could be told. Good luck with the book and your on-going project. Really interesting.


    Posted by sleeka21 | 2-2-15., 4:56 am
  2. You should mention that the Staten Island Farm colony was the last abode of the great Staten Island photographer Alice Austen whose Victorian cottage is now a museum close to the bay..When Staten island was a summer residence of southern cotton planters who came to NYC to sell their cotton on the cotton exchange they stayed in staten island for the cool breezes. There are photos of victorian ladies fully clothed playing tennis etc.


    Posted by Constance Roche | 2-3-15., 3:10 pm


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A bold design by Francine Gardner in this #Tribeca apartment. Featured in the current issue of NY Cottages & Gardens. @dd_reps @cottagesgardens . #interiordesign #interiordecor #color #luxuryhomes #nycinteriordesign #interiorphotographer
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