There are a lot of abandoned buildings and houses on Governors island, including churches, a fort and even a castle, but the examples of Colonial and Greek Revival architecture, particularly the yellow wood frame houses that were used as military housing, have been the ones that I’m most curious about (I have an interest in abandoned buildings). I don’t recall any of the houses being open to the public last year, but this year a not-for-profit group called No Longer Empty have curated site specific installations by a dozen and a half artists inside the houses of Colonel Row.
Thank god for art. I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed by how increasingly commercial and crowded the island had become, but stepping into these old houses instantly restored what I had loved about the island last year – a place not touched by time, eerily full of ghosts and a feeling of being transported to a different place, but not knowing exactly which place. It was a much needed break from the circus outside that was our visit last Friday.
Btw, have you checked out the plans for the future build out of the island? I have no idea what’s going on in these renderings (you gotta love those people dropped into architectural drawings). It all looks very interesting.