Fort Tilden

By Hook or By Crook

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I’m at again, investigating another abandoned building. This time I went with my fellow photographers to Fort Tilden an abandoned military fort that was built in 1917 when America became involved in World War I. Fort Tilden is located on the Rockaway Penisula between Jacob Riis Park and Breezy Point. It is part of the National Parks System and many of the abandoned buildings are listed on the National Historical Register.

Fort Tilden started as a coastal military installation and ended as the Nike Hercules and Nike Ajax Missile Site. Today it sits abandoned among one of the most remote and beautiful beaches in New York. It is a great place to fish, view wildlife and explore abandoned buildings.

This is the first building we ventured into. The featured image at the top of this blog is a view of inside the building.

Abandoned Building Fort Tilden

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On the way into the building we came across this bus.

Big Bus

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A view of the graffiti on the back door of the bus.

Backdoor of the Bus

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This is taken in the first room on the left upon entering the building.

Looking out of the Room

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And looking into the room from the main floor.

Looking into the Room

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The graffiti is really beautiful inside this room. I like how the graffiti artist painted around the pipes. I have no idea what Kusk stands for.

Kusk

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Some shots of inside the first floor of the building. Some great graffiti. The light diffusing into this room was really challenging to shoot.

Purple Door

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Red Dumpster

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Big Mess

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As you can see in the featured image there is a staircase that begged to be climbed. Here are a few shots from the second floor.

2nd Floor

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You can see one of my fellow photographers setting up a shot down below.

View From Above

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After spending a couple of hours shooting in this building we moved onto our first bunker (aka cement foxhole).  You see slits in the cement where they could aim weapons towards the water.

Outside the Foxhole

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The next two shots are inside the bunker. Yes, I did climb down into it and I was very happy I did. Beautiful graffiti.

In the Bunker

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Inside the Bunker 2

After exploring the bunker we took off to another building that served either as a barrack or administrative building.

Barracks Building

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PCP

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Skeleton Room

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Sink Room

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Looking Out the Window

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Red Heart

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Yeer

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We left the Barrack and preceded down a road that ran parallel to the beach. Just gorgeous. All that debris is from Hurricane Irene.

Fort Tilden Beach

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We preceded to an underground bunker which I believe held ammunition. This one sat under a sand dune and had a very long hallway with three very dark rooms off the hallway. The first shot is of the door to the entrance to the bunker.  You can catch a glimpse of the hallway on the left. The second shot is taken in the hallway towards the door in the previous picture. The rest is a closeup of the graffiti.

Under the Dunes

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Looking Down the Hallway

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Someone Left Their Towel

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Stock

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We moved on from the underground Bunker rather quickly  (it was raided by a bunch of little kids in Spider Man costumes screaming at the top of their lungs) to a another large building with a long trench running down the middle of it and a picture of a unhappy clown (reminded me of “It” by Stephen King).  The restrooms were not up to par either!

Not a Happy Clown

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Bathroom Sink

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The next stop on our exploration of Fort Tilden was another type of storage building with tracks running down the middle of it. These shots were taken down on the floor where the tracks were located. The rounding effect is from my fisheye lens.

Host18

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Clown on the Side

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Our next stop was to Battery Harris East and West. Battery Harris East and West are two gigantic cement buildings that housed two massive 16 inch cannons. Cement was poured over these building during World War II so they couldn’t be bombed or have the cannons turned on New York City in case they landed up in enemy hands.

I actually climbed to the top of the roof of Battery Harris West which lacked a staircase (Battery East has a staircase to a lookout platform on top). You see, two little 10 year old boys told us there was a neat little house on top, so off I went with fellow photographer Chris to find it. The house was so little we couldn’t get in it. Coming down was the hard part, thank god its overgrown with trees and shrubs you could hang onto. I don’t know what I was thinking but I had no business scampering up and down a cement roof like a 10 year old. Here are some shots of the graffiti at both buildings.

Ether

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Whack

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Dirty Hand Bandits

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Gluck Noted

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Serf

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Panda Graffiti

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We ended a perfect day by climbing the stairs (what a novel idea) to the top of Battery Harris East. I love it when I hear the weather is going to be partly sunny because you know there will be beautiful clouds in the sky. Below are three different views from the platform and the use of three different post processing techniques to bring out the drama in the sky (Nik Color Efex Polarizing filter, Nik HDR Efex Pro then Silver Efex, and Nik Color Efex Sky Filter).

Top of Battery Harris East 3

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Top of Battery Harris East 2

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Top of Battery Harris East 1

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For more information on Fort Tilden you can click on NY Harbor Parks – Fort Tilden    or this article by Urban Ghosts called Fort Tilden: New York\’s Abandoned Miltary Base

For information on the software I use for post processing these pictures see Nik Software

3 thoughts on “Fort Tilden

  1. I was stationed at Ft. Tilden in 1950-51 with the 69th AAA Battalion, anti-aircraft, waiting for Russian nuclear bombers. I came across your website while researching an article on my experiences while stationed in New York instead of fighting in Korea. Your photos are incredible! Congratulations. Credit too to the nameless artists who spent countless hours creating. .

    • Thank you Larry! I went back to Fort Tilden in November to show my neighbor this incredible place and ran into a gentleman that was also stationed at Fort Tilden. You served and protected our country well and I thank you for that!

      • Served and protected, yes. Had a fabulous time doing it, absolutely! If you’re interested I can send you a copy of the piece I wrote: “Scanning the Skies for Russian Nuclear Bombers; Chasing Those New York Girls.” Send me your email address and I’ll send you a copy.

        Larry

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