New York’s Forgotten Buildings Inspire New Ruin Porn Book

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Ferns grow from a mossy indoor swimming pool at Grossinger's Catskills Resort. Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Rusty chutes in the highest reaches of the Red Hook Grain Terminal were used to deliver grain to massive concrete silos inside the structure. Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Afternoon light leaks through the airy interior of a New York Dock Company warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Rays of sunshine light up the Freedom Tunnel.Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com
Photo: Courtesy Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC.com

Large-scale color photographs of decaying and abandoned buildings (think Robert Polidori‘s post-Katrina shots of New Orleans or Andrew Moore’s series from Cuba), have been as popular as ever in recent years.

Now, San Antonio photographer Will Ellis has published Abandoned NYC (Schiffer Publishing, January 2015), based on his blog of the same name, the New York Times reports. For three years, 25-year old Ellis “has been exploring ghostly, decaying structures in the city and beyond: Collapsed poorhouse dormitories; old resorts laid to waste; a grand movie palace now used to store furniture.”

And while some critics charge photographers who indulge in taking such photographs of dilapidated architectural structures, aka ruin porn, with “slumming,” Ellis told the Times, “In New York City, it’s kind of the opposite. There are so few of these places left—and they’re all disappearing so fast.”

According to Ellis’s blog, the book has 150 pages of full-color photographs taken of sixteen spots in New York, some of the city’s “most beautiful and mysterious abandoned spaces,” along with essays on the history of these places lost to time.

The book also includes five new locations never released online.


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