As of this writing in 2015, the boat graveyard represents a rare breed of extremely long running NYC abandonments. With real estate values sky high across much of NYC, this part of staten island is far enough from the cities’ epicenter to have not significantly felt the ripple effects.
The graveyard contains everything from an old ferry to tugboats, barges, and a forner navy submarine hunting vessel. The often told story is that the graveyard grew immediately after WW2 when it’s owners were buying more vessels than the ship-breakers could take apart. Over the years and decades many of the vessels had decades and been battered by enough storms to be rendered salvageable. The old lead paints and toxic materials on board some of them didn’t help.
There have been numerous great articles about the boat grave, as well as a very well researched recent documentary.
According to a 1990 NY Times article, the boat grave once contained 400 vessels – a number that dwindled to 200 at the time. Today, I would estimate there are perhaps 50-100 vessels left, at best.
Directly across the street from the boat graveyard a new building was built in 2013. According to the NYC DOB, the H & E Tool rental company received a permit to build a new 3 story building here to serve as their office and storage/service facility for the equipment they rent out (large lawnmowers, bobcats, construction equipment). For whatever reason, the project stalled. I found the gate wide open, and no doors on the building. (Apparently the fences have been fixed according to a very recent DOB inspection).
A lot of explorers would pass up a building like this, since there’s not a whole lot of interest in or around the building – however – the view here. Tits. They may as well have built this building as one big viewing platform to look down on the boat graveyard across the street. The only thing missing is roof access and a BBQ grill. There’s a few power lines that get in the way of some shots but nothing that can’t be worked around.