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About

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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


Discussion

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.

    Like

    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.

    Like

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

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  1. Pingback: Inspiration - SleeKComment - 2-2-15.

  2. Pingback: Photographer Will Ellis includes 200 images of New York’s creepiest sites in Abandoned NYC | Conservative News - 2-2-15.

  3. Pingback: Photographer Will Ellis includes 200 images of New York's creepiest sites in Abandoned NYC | TKG News - 2-2-15.

  4. Pingback: Inspiration | Katherine Debona - 3-1-15.

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New post up on the blog today highlights a few areas of interest near the "South Pole" of New York, including this little-known bus graveyard. 🏚🚌 (link in profile)
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I might not have been the first to discover this place, but it was new to me when I stumbled across it in May 2015.  I revisited a few times to capture it in different seasons, it's a beautiful scene any time of year.
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#abandoned #abandonedplaces #urbex #urbanexploration #graveyard #exploreeverything #nyc #statenisland #abandonedworld #seasons #snow #urbandecay #abandonednyc Disappearing into fog, from the Brooklyn side... Any Bay Ridgeites remember what used to be on these signs?

#verrazanobridge #verrazano #bayridge #brookyn #nyc #newyork #newyork_ig #newyorkcity #fog #foggy #moodygrams #water #longexposure #weather #nycprimeshot #bridgestagram Borough residents speak longingly of Staten Island before the opening of the Verrazano Bridge in 1964.
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Country roads meandered through sweeping forests, quiet beach communities, and open expanses of farmland crawling with nanny goats.
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The nature of the island was permanently altered as the bridge prompted a mass migration of newcomers from overpopulated Brooklyn.
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The influx covered farms and forests with mile upon mile of tract housing, plaguing the island with traffic problems that persist to this day.
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#newyork_ig #nycprimeshot #newyorknewyork #nyhistory #nyc #statenisland #bridgeporn #verrazanobridge #newyork #topnewyorkphoto #fiveboroughs #bridgestagram #underthebridge The city of New York took over the Staten Island Ferry in 1905 after a series of deadly disasters on privately-run lines. 🌊💀🔥 The 1871 "Westfield" disaster was the worst of them.  Nearly 100 passengers lost their lives when a boat's boiler exploded in its slip at Whitehall.  Jacob Vanderbilt, head of SI Railway at the time, was charged with murder, but never convicted.

More history up on the blog (🔗 in profile)

#newyorkcity #newyorknewyork #nyhistory #nychistory #statenisland #statenislandferry #nyharbor #staten #historynerd #nycprimeshot #newyork_ig #newyorkers Seagulls follow in the wake of the Staten Island Ferry. ⚓️ #statenisland #statenislandferry #nyc #newyorknewyork #topnewyorkphoto #nycprimeshot #newyorkcity @newyork_instagram The iconic orange color of the Staten Island Ferry was first adopted in 1926, to increase its visibility during periods of heavy snow and fog. 🌫🚢🌫 More photos and history on the blog... (🔗 in profile)

#staten #statenisland #newyorknewyork #newyorkcity #silive #city #statenislandferry #ferry #orange Got my first post up in a long while on the blog, introducing a new series on Staten Island. 🗽🛳 🏙 Here, the Staten Island Ferry pulls away from Lower Manhattan on a foggy afternoon. 🔗 in profile
#statenisland #statenislandferry #nyc #fog #silive #newyorkcity #newyorknewyork #staten #mist Well hello there! Outside looking in on the ruins of Kings Park Psychiatric Center. #abandoned #abandonedplaces #asylum #urbandecay #urbanexploration #urbex #kppc #kingspark #raccoonsofinstagram #raccoon #wildlife A sad old house in Graniteville, SI. #abandoned #abandonednyc #urbex #urbandecay #oldhouse #oldhousecharm #urbanexploration #nyc The wreck of the Phillip T. Feeney. #shipwreck #boatgraveyard #urbandecay #urbanexploration #urbex #nyc #statenisland #northshore Fort Wadsworth's Battery Weed is among the most picturesque of the city's defunct military defenses.  It stood guard from the 1860s to the 1990s, when the base was decommissioned.  #urbanexploration #urbandecay #statenisland #preservation #nyhistory #nyc #nycprimeshot #architecture Leaf litter floods the entryway to one of the oldest structures in New York City--first built as a one room residence way back in 1670!  It's in sorry shape today, though it was declared a NYC landmark in 1984.  #abandoned #abandonedplaces #abandonedhouse #landmarks #nyclandmarks #preservation #urbanexploration #statenisland
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