The main, Art Deco-style hospital on North Brother Island in 2015. Completed in 1941, it was built to treat tuberculosis patients, but during the 1950's was … North Brother Island is less than a square mile in size, and is the site of a lighthouse that was first established in 1877. Spanning less than a square mile, North Brother Island supports rare, endemic New Zealand Species. North Brother Island was considered by many to be the ideal site for the new light, but the land’s owner, one Edward Ackerson, refused to sell. North Brother Island is an uninhabited patch of land located smack dab in the middle of the East River between the Bronx and Rikers Island. North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City includes a history by University of Pennsylvania preservationist Randall Mason, who has studied the island extensively, and an essay by the writer Robert Sullivan (Rats, The Meadowlands), who came along on one of the rare expeditions. The city has intended to make North Brother Island publicly accessible for decades, but the effort has stalled—the Parks Department … It was … After three years of attempts to purchase the land, Auditor Stephen Pleasonton formally asked the New York legislature to condemn the property. North Brother Island sits in the middle of the East River, in plain view of the city, yet it remains one of New York's best-kept—and eeriest—secrets. While North Brother Island has been uninhabited since 1963, only a scarce few have seen South Brother Island’s light of day since 1909. North Brother Island is most famous today from the beautiful photographs of its crumbling state, but its history and secrets are what give the place its mythical status in New York City. Judging from aerial photos taken in the 1950s, the wildest things there were a few shade trees. North Brother Island, where the Slocum was beached, is now a windswept, barren place visited now only by wading and migrating birds and urban explorers, like K. Jacob Ruppert, who kayaked out to North Brother with the Natural Resources Group of the NYC Department of Parks and snapped the shots of it you see on this page. In the middle of the Cook Strait in New Zealand lies the Brother Island formation. A small island in New Zealand exemplifies the significance of small islands. North Brother Island is an eerie 22-acre piece of land inside New York City that has been abandoned since 1963. Mere decades ago, North Brother Island was a well-manicured urban development like any other. North Brother Island came into prominence in the late 19th century, when public health issues of an exploding population regularly made headlines.