North Brother Island is an island in the East River situated between the Bronx and Riker’s Island. Its companion, South Brother Island, is a short distance away. Together, the two Brother Islands, North and South, have a land area of 20.12 acres (81,400 m2).
The island was uninhabited until 1885, when Riverside Hospital moved there from Blackwell’s Island (now known as Roosevelt Island). Riverside Hospital was founded in the 1850s as the Smallpox Hospital to treat and isolate victims of that disease. Its mission eventually expanded to other quarantinable diseases.
Ian Ference is a photographer who specializes in shooting derelict buildings. He has captured impressive images of North Brother Island, which currently is a bird sanctuary under the jurisdiction of the city’s Parks Department and remains off-limits to the public.
More photos can be found here.