North Brother Island North Brother Island is among the most unexpected of places: an uninhabited island of ruins in New York City that hardly anyone knows; a secret existing in plain sight. It is both part of the city and a world apart from it, a small dot slotted in the East River between the Bronx and Riker’s Island. North Brother Island came into prominence in the late 19th century, when public health issues of an exploding population regularly made headlines. Like other islands in the harbor, it was perfectly suited as a buffer against contagions, and from the 1870s through the 1930s it was used primarily as a quarantine hospital (the infamous Typhoid Mary was confined there). After WWII it provided a temporary home for veterans, and from the 1950s it was used as a juvenile drug treatment center until its closure in 1963. Today North Brother has been designated as conservation land, to protect nesting grounds for the Black-crowned Night Heron, which has unwittingly helped to preserve the island’s forgotten fragments of New York’s history. Since 2008, with permission from the NYC Parks Department, I have been one of a few photographers allowed on the island, and my photographs comprise a comprehensive record of the buildings and its evolving landscape over many seasons. In spring 2014, North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place In New York City will be published by Fordham University Press, with an introduction by author Robert Sullivan. Click HERE to purchase the book.