You should not forget about the Seaview Hospital located in Staten Island when it comes to abandoned buildings. It was once a prominent tuberculosis sanatorium during the 1900s but has now been turned into a national historic district. However, you can find many secrets about the infamous sanatorium that not many people know about.
1. Underground Tunnel Network
Who would have thought that a hospital would have World War-style tunnels? Before the Seaview hospital was constructed, the original buildings were connected via overhead ground tunnels, which helped staff and patients move around from building to building quicker. While mainly used for storage purposes, the tunnels still contain authentic architectural features, like the overhead wood paneling.
You can find tunnels leading to several areas, such as the destroyed octagonal kitchen and the entrance to the Women’s Open Air Pavilions from the above-ground tunnels. There are hospital beds and sheets lined at the side in front of the entrance, which gives visitors a creepy vibe of the place.
2. Terra Cotta Murals
If you get the opportunity to visit the hospital, you should not miss out on seeing the beautiful terra cotta murals portraying nurses, doctors, and patients. They were initially imported from Delft, Holland, and were created in the De Porceleyne Fles foundry. It was rumored that the murals created for the Seaview hospital were some of the last made using the sectile technique, wherein the De Porceleyne Fles foundry was the only place to utilize it.
3. Seaview Hospital Found the First Tuberculosis Cure
Not many know about it, but Seaview Hospital was the first to conduct clinical trials for hydrazide treatments, which eventually led to the disease’s cure. However, the hospital slowly halted operations in the late 1950s after they discovered the cure. After the halting of operations, it was turned into a long-term care facility.
4. Seaview Hospital Produced Their Own Electricity and Steam
Back then, it was rare for hospitals to provide their own electricity. That was not the case for Seaview hospital because it had its own power plant and laundry facility constructed in 1912, extended after 22 years. There were talks about the power plant getting refurbished, but plans quickly stopped due to high traces of asbestos found within the building.
5. A Subway and Confectionary Store Within the Hospital
Another interesting fact about Seaview hospital was that it had a confectionery store that sold different products such as Coca-Cola, stationery, cigars, and everything else people would want back then. Currently, the confectionery store serves as a storage facility for hospital beds, medical equipment, and other hospital equipment. In 2011, there was even a Subway that opened within the Robitzek building but has since been closed down.
Nowadays, the Seaview hospital is a popular attraction for many urban explorers because of its dilapidated features, especially the octagon kitchen.