I’ve been gone for some time, haven’t I? While “gone” does include trips to here and there, I truly mean that I have been gone from my writing. Similarly, my desire to explore the abandoned has also “gone,” so to speak. Thanks to Tiffany and Brian, I reignited a bit of that desire in the heart of Staten Island.
The New York Farm Colony was established back in 1898 as a government-run poorhouse, although it existed back in 1829 as the Richmond County Poor Farm. In 1915, the colony’s administration was merged with Seaview Hospital, which sits right across the street, with the main purpose of treating Tuberculosis. Over the years, the colony, which was originally founded on the idea of room and board in exchange for labor, morphed into a safe haven/hospital for the elderly, until it was eventually shut down in 1975.
For over 40 years, the farm colony has sat abandoned. The buildings still standing are at wide-ranging levels of destruction, which is absolutely fascinating (and somehow quite beautiful). Some are shadows of what they used to be, while others still stand much in their glory, with access available from basement to rooftop. Speaking of access, the farm colony is extremely easy to visit, with practically no fences or security of any kind.
Of course, like many places that sit abandoned, the site is associated with various criminal activity. On a harmless level, the site has become a general hangout for teenagers, a canvas for many talented graffiti artists, and an obstacle course for paintball lovers. On a more sinister level, the site has been linked to disappearances, murders (linking to Cropsey), and Satan worship.
If you want to check this site out, do so now. As of last November, a deal was made with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to turn this area into senior housing, and work is slated to begin in early 2016.