Depending on your perspective, one of the best parts (or worst parts) of New York City is that it is ever-changing. Old buildings are constantly going down while newer ones spring up overnight to take their place. But there’s one hidden, eerie place where the past hasn’t gone away quite yet.
Roosevelt Island is accessible from Manhattan via tramway or subway; however, most New Yorkers never go. But for the most adventurous (and least spooked) residents, there’s a piece of history that’s just waiting for you to explore it.
Towards the end of the 1800s, cities began making an effort to keep smallpox sufferers separate from the rest of the population. Luckily for New Yorkers, the entire city is actually an archipelago. So in 1856, the city opened up the Renwick Smallpox Hospital, completely cordoned off from the rest of the area by waterways. During the hospital’s 19-year run, it treated about 7,000 patients a year, with about 450 patients dying there annually.
But in 2009, developers came along with a $4.5 million project to restore and renovate the site. The developers have not yet completed the project, although the Gothic Revival architecture has not been completely abandoned. They reinforced the walls of the building to keep them from falling down on anybody and installed a light system so that visitors can explore the spooky site after the sun sets.
In the meantime, the ruins of the hospital are open to anybody with an adventurous spirit and a flashlight. However, be aware that it may not be a pleasant visit—the hospital has the distinct honor of being one of the most haunted places in all of America.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.