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abandoned places

Salvation Army

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The Bayley Seton Hospital Nurses’ Residence

Inside Bayley Seton Hospital

Inside the Bayley Seton Hospital Nurses’ Residence

A floundering medical complex sits on a 20-acre campus in Stapleton on the North Shore of Staten Island.  Today, eight of Bayley Seton Hospital’s twelve buildings lie abandoned, the largest being the old Nurses’ Residence at its southeast corner.

The grounds of BSH house Staten Island’s first hospital, an historic colonnaded structure built in the 1830s to serve ailing retired naval and merchant sailors, appropriately named “the Seamen’s Retreat.”  Change came to the site in 1858 when a mob of 30-40 prominent locals attacked and burned down the Port of New York Quarantine Hospital, located a mile north of the Retreat.  Though this horrific incident was incensed by an outbreak of yellow fever the locals blamed on the nearby hospital, flagrant racism was most likely a factor—recent immigrants made up the majority of the hospital’s population.

Some of the quarantine station’s services were transferred to areas of what is now Bayley Seton Hospital, and placed under the jurisdiction of the Marine Hospital Service, which by 1885 controlled the entire complex, and by 1902 had been renamed the US Public Health Service.  In the 1930s, President Roosevelt started a campaign to revitalize The Public Health Service Hospitals, resulting in the construction of the main seven-story art-deco building and its offshoot Nurses’ Residence, a winged four-story structure on the southeast corner of the property.

Bayley Seton Postcard

The Nurses’ Residence (right,) pictured with the larger main building (left.)

The hospital was sold to the Sisters of Charity of New York, a Catholic healthcare organization, in 1980.   At this point the U.S. Health Service Hospital was renamed after Sisters’ founder Elizabeth Seton and her father Richard Bayley (who coincidentally once headed the ill-fated Thompkinsville Quarantine Hospital.)  Under the Sisters of Charity, the hospital was predominantly used to treat mental disorders and substance abuse, and continues to fulfill this role today, albeit at a greatly diminished capacity.

In 2000, The Sisters of Charity turned over Bayley Seton to the related Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, which faced financial troubles at the Stapleton campus from the beginning.  Over half of its services were suspended and the hospital fell into an inexorable decline.  Plans to close Bayley Seton emerged in 2004 as Saint Vincent’s, once the largest Catholic Health organization in New York, filed for bankruptcy with a debt of over a billion dollars.  At some point during this tumultuous period (artifacts point to the building last being inhabited in 2002,) the former Nurses’ Residence, which had most recently been used as a New York addiction treatment facility, was abandoned as part of an ongoing series of downsizings and closures.

Gutted Bayley Seton Hospital Room

One of many gutted rooms, beginning to show signs of age.

In 2009, The Salvation Army settled on a 7.6 million dollar deal to purchase 7 acres of BSH.  Originally, plans called for the construction of a 120,000 square-foot community center in the footstep of the Nurses’ Residence, set to begin in 2011, followed by a two-year period to terminate Bayley Seton’s remaining services, after which the main building would also be converted into senior housing.  If it’s ever built, the center will be one of 30 similar complexes across the country funded by a 1.5 billion dollar endowment by the late Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.  The Salvation Army failed to raise the 25 million needed to cover the difference between its cut of the Kroc endowment and the projected cost of construction, and ground has yet to be broken.

The Kroc Center

The Kroc Center in a 2007 rendering.

Twelve foot chain link fences have been placed along the perimeter of the Salvation Army property, but the site is otherwise untouched.  Fenced-off and boarded-up, the Nurses’ Home ages in secret.  Walls molt through layers of colored paint under tumbledown ceilings.  The unrecognizable contents of a half-dozen milk cartons fester in a neglected refrigerator.  An upright piano keeps mum in an empty common room while activity slows to a trickle on the rest of the Bayley Seton Hospital campus.  Here and there, artifacts remain—painted crafts, motivational posters, hand-drawn cartoons—evoking the human element of the hospital’s better days.  With its subtle architectural charms, the Nurses’ Residence has little hope of being saved from the wrecking ball, (though a few conservationists are out to change that.)  Those in power seem to agree—despite centuries of convoluted history, it’s time to pull the plug on Bayley Seton Hospital.

For more photos of Bayley Seton Hospital’s abandonments, go on to PART II.

Bayley Seton Hospital Main Entrance

The main entrance.

Bayley Seton Hospital Professional Services

Lettering here once pointed out the “Professional Services” office.

Bayley Seton Hospital Kitchen

A kitchen on the top floor in the early stages of decay.

Spoiled Milk

The contents of a staff-only refrigerator left long after their expiration dates.

Abandoned Piano in Bayley Seton

This piano wasn’t worth the difficulty in transporting it.

Fallen Ceiling

Cheap ceilings crumble in the reception area.

Reception Window Bayley Seton

Fluorescent fixtures dangle by the reception window.

Moldy Walls Bayley Seton Hospital

Mold spreads on the walls of a first floor residence.

Dark Corridor Bayley Seton

Another creepy hallway of the former Nurses’ Home.

Bayley Seton Artifact

“Invest in yourself, Share your pain”

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts

Nurses Home Exterior

An exterior view of the abandoned Nurses’ Home as it stands today.


 

 


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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 The incredible Brooklyn Army Terminal atrium, photographed last February.  Though the atrium is no longer used for shipping and receiving, the surrounding structure remains a vibrant hub of industry on the Sunset Park waterfront.  #NYC #brooklyn #urbanexploration #urbandecay #nychistory #sunsetpark #industry #urbex
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