Thursday, November 29, 2012

Insane in the Membrane

Pop quiz: what island hosted an infamous insane asylum as well as a penitentiary facility, was formerly known as Welfare Island, and provided inspiration for various creepy films and books? 
That island would be Roosevelt, of course
In the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I've been inundated with requests to inspect buildings that were flooded during the sea surges. I was excited to learn I'd be doing one such investigation at Roosevelt Island. I had heard tell of its historical nut hut and was eager to see the place (let's not kid ourselves, I also wanted an excuse to ride the tram!). Little did I know that not only was I going to the island that once was home to the famous loony bin, I was investigating THE loony bin itself! 
Dreams do come true!
Today only a portion of the insane asylum remains after time and a serious fire took their tolls. This portion is a gorgeously restored circular/geometric building, complete with spiral staircases called "the Octagon". Apparently it used to be the reception area of the crazy home. Now it's a combination of residential apartments, office spaces, and a preschool. Not gonna lie, kind of a letdown. Let's hope that they're crraaazzzyyyy apartments and office spaces and that the ghosts of tortured souls roam the preschool halls. 
And one of the approximately 20 photos I took on the ~5 minute tram ride. I guess I was a tad overeager. 
Photo credits: Roosevelt Island Tram, Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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