The mysterious case of the abandoned NYC mansion

New York City is one of the most populated places in the world, and the largest city in the United States. With a population of eight and a half million people, this means that the city has more inhabitants in it than 100 different countries. That’s right, there are more New Yorkers than there are living in the entirety of the European nation of Switzerland.

With this comes a major issue which the city constantly struggles to deal with – housing. Where in the world (or the city in this case) are you supposed to house so many people? There are only so many apartments in New York City. One way to deal with it is to demolish old, shorter structures and build higher buildings which can hold more people. But on a small island such as Manhattan, this means snarling up traffic to build the buildings, something which might affect traffic patterns for years as these buildings get built.

Another way is to take existing structures and further subdivide them into more and more apartments. This is a dangerous, sometimes illegal practice where apartments are split using shoddily constructed walls. A lot of times, you can only fit a bed in there… and not much else. Some places even have shared bathrooms. But even with these ideas, the population of New York City is exploding with no end in sight. If only there was just a huge plot of land sitting outside of the city upon which a giant apartment complex could be built. That would definitely alleviate some of the overcrowdedness. Except there indeed is a place just like this. Sitting outside of New York City is a giant abandoned mansion rotting away. No one is taking care of the 57 room complex which is sitting on six acres of prime real estate. So why is nobody building on it? Well, it turns out, the answer is a lot weirder (and creepier) than you might think.

The abandoned mansion

With over eight and a half million residents, New York City is the most populated city in the United States. The housing shortage is huge, and if you are willing to live in a shoebox, your rent will be close to $1,000 a month. However, imagine if just outside of Manhattan there was an abandoned mansion with over 50 rooms for people to live. Wouldn’t you just get so angry that no one was able to live in them? Well, as it turns out…


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Bryan Sansivero, photographer

It appears that there is just such a place hiding in the woods outside of Manhattan, and it would have remained a secret had award-winning photographer Bryan Sansivero not found the place. Sansivero takes pictures of abandoned buildings and roads, and even made a film about a crumbling New York City psych ward called Shadows of Kings Park. In this case, Sansivero was given exclusive access to photograph the inside of the abandoned building.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

57 rooms

The decaying building was first constructed in the 1930s and saw people living in it until the 1970s. No one else really knows who the owners of this expansive property were nor why it was simply abandoned. It is quite a place too – the building even holds an indoor tennis court and bowling alley. It’s so close to Manhattan that it is a shock that no one has turned it into a luxury hotel or something.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Watching it fall apart

This mansion was absolutely huge and probably well known in the 1950s and 1960s. However, what the building was used for remains a complete mystery. After digging around, it has been discovered that the giant building is, in fact, owned by someone. The person who owns the building is quite reclusive, but he is known for buying up giant properties and watching them fall apart. He has several properties all around New York where he does this as well.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Six acres

Sitting on six acres of land, this building is giant. Amongst its 57 rooms are a tennis court, a full bowling alley, and much more. It has several bars, a huge library, and a whole lot more. Whoever lived here really might as well have tried to start their own city within New York City. These people really had everything they would have ever needed right at their fingertips.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Leaving in a rush

What is really crazy is the fact that the entirety of the mansions seems like it was abandoned in a mad rush. Nothing about it seems normal. In fact, it seems as if the inhabitants of the home all fled like refugees fleeing a war. The original residents’ clothing, toys, and furniture are all still there. We wonder if the current owner had something to do with this. Is there a reason he chose this building out of all the others to buy in an estate auction?


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

All the shoes

We do not know who lived here originally, but we do know that there was at least one woman living in the building due to all of the women’s shoes neatly arranged in the closets of one of the bedrooms. The shoes are in the slingback style and are in all different colors and patterns. Interestingly enough, there do not seem to be any sneakers. Perhaps she was not as avid a tennis player as the others? Or maybe she wore her sneakers when she abandoned the building?


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram


Due to the evidence suggesting that there was a woman in the home, we could also assume that she was the mother of several children (50 of them though??). There are tons of toys all over the place in the mansion, including dolls and even a mint condition baby stroller. Perhaps they were toddlers, or perhaps they were just young children. In any case, the abandoned toys certainly give the place a creepy feel.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

School aged

Based on all of the signs, we are sure that this home was the dwelling place of several children, one of whom appears to have been in grade school. In fact, the child even had a trunk which was probably used when the kid was sent to boarding school – something which many wealthy families in the area used to do (and which many still do). Additionally, this creepy painting of a child, was this the son of the owner of the house?


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram


And yet, the mystery deepens. Based on the stuff left behind it appears as if the children in this home were sent away for school. But if that is the case, then why are there steel school desks? Were these children also homeschooled? Or, what if, was this the boarding school itself? In any case, it is clear from the various layers of paint chipping off of the walls that the room was kept up well, at least until it wasn’t.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Well stocked library

One of the more interesting parts of the house is the place’s extensive library. There are dozens if not hundreds of books which have simply been left over and abandoned. This only serves to prove one of two things – if this was a family home, then the family put a huge importance on reading and education. If it was a boarding school, then the children were never want for reading material. We could just imagine curling up on the couch and reading a good book there.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

The ballroom

Despite the fact that the mansion sits in one of the most densely populated places on the planet, there is a surprisingly small amount of vandalism damage to the structure. While there is some graffiti here and there, there is by and large nothing showing the presence of human troublemakers. In fact, there are gorgeous blue rugs, pianos, and even a suitcase on top of a couch which have all seemingly remained untouched for years.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Indoor tennis court

Perhaps one of the coolest parts of the house is the indoor tennis court which is covered in windows letting in light. The windows could be closed and turn the place into a greenhouse during the winter and can be opened to keep the place cooler during the summer. However, nowadays, the tennis court is something of a junkyard, with everything from a kitchen stove to even an old car sitting in there.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Victorian time capsule

The house has been decorated in a somewhat weird manner portraying the eras in which the house itself was populated. There is everything inside the house from victorian furniture and wall designs to shag carpeting in certain places. There are bold printed wallpapers in the rooms and gold finishes and Victorian style trophy cases. It is interesting that the people who lived in this house had nearly 100 years of design in there.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

All the different styles

Another interesting way to date the home and the people who were living in it is to look at the evolution of the chairs in the house. There are chairs in there dating all the way back to the 1930s and going through to the 1970s. There are the bamboo chairs of the art deco movement, bold colors from the 1950s and 1960s, and even the brownish, mustardy yellow chairs of the 1970s.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Nature is creeping in

This picture shows one of the children’s rocking horses nestles between two couches which are slowly but surely disintegrating. But perhaps most interesting is the way that snow and frost have been able to enter into the interior of the home. Although there are still curtains on the windows, the New York winter was still able to find a way inside. It is just another way to show how mother nature eventually conquers all.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

A musical home

While there were not a lot of televisions in private homes in the 1930s when this particular structure was built, it is interesting to note that there are still almost no televisions in the entirety of the house. However, it appears that this mansion was in fact a place of musical talent, as there are several record players, radios, and other musical instruments scattered around the house. Much better than television in our opinion.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Artwork on decay

The last owners of the mansion seemed to have left in a hurry. In fact, we are shocked that there is not some half baked food still in the kitchen. It is clear not only by the things that were left behind but also where the things were left that these people ran away in a hurry. This picture shows an abandoned armchair in front of a television set. Additionally, there is still a painting hanging on the wall that is slowly falling apart. Sadly, someone spray painted over it.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

Creepy player piano

Why does this house have a player piano in it? For those who don’t know what a player piano is, they are pianos which work on an electrical current and actually play by themselves. They were creepy enough when they were invented in the 1870s (although a patent for them was submitted in the 1840s). It is interesting that such a musical house would have a piano that plays all by itself.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram


It appears that before the original owners left the house they attempted to do a lot of renovations to try and raise the value of the place a little bit. This is evidenced by the ladders and drop sheets spread throughout various wings of the house. Maybe the building was foreclosed upon and the bank was trying to renovate the place before sale? Or maybe the current owner at first wanted it redone but now only wants to see it rot.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram

The doll

Only adding to the creepiness of the house is a doll sitting on the couch. Who put that doll there? It does not seem like anyone has been in the house for year. How can it be that the doll did not fall over? Did it climb up there on its own? All we know is that the doll’s unceasing stare is really giving us the heebie jeebies.


Photo Credit: Bryan Sansivero / Instagram