NYC’s North Brother Island, Abandoned for 50 Years, Might Finally be Opened to (Legal) Visitors

North Brother Island is a 20-acre speck off the Bronx in the East River. It opened, in the 1880s, as a quarantine site, where the city shipped and shut away the sick. The hospital converted to a drug rehab center for heroin-addicted teens in the 1950s. Corruption and high costs ended the program a little more than a decade later, around 1963. The patients, the staff — everyone — left. The island has been abandoned since.

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