Monday, September 12, 2016


We’re all familiar with the notion of “ghost towns”, a fixture of roadside attractions, mostly in the American West. Their history usually had a lot to do with a flurry of activity and enterprise centered around a specific natural resource or location. For some time now, I have been fascinated by the ghost town fringes of post industrial NY and other areas. In this city there will be no quaint gift shop selling souvenirs as the rapid and relentless march of gentrification has completely transformed most of these areas.  Here’s a peak at what once was...

              the Gowanus circa 2008 was a collection of abandoned small 
              industrial structures and this part now stands as a Whole Foods 
              and parking lot.

                 2009. the Gowanus with “Riv View”, now a block long collection of 
              brand new condos.

        Fort Tilden was a former military installation and is now part of the Gateway
        National Recreation Area. Many of the long abandoned old bunkers and
        buildings are favorite graffiti spots.

               Admiral’s Row, is a collection of gorgeous, Second Empire-style 
               officer homes that were located adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard 
               and some dated back to the Civil War. They were owned by the 
               National Guard until recently when ownership shifted to the Brooklyn
               Navy Yard Development Corporation. There had been concerted 
               efforts to landmark and restore, but they continued to crumble and 
               sadly, I watched the last ones go down a few weeks ago. Plans are 
               on for a Wegmans supermarket to open in 2017.

                           all photos ©Ken Brown

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