Inside the Red Hook Grain Terminal

An intrepid duo of photographers snuck into the abandoned grain factory in Red Hook last week and came away with some amazing shots. The adventure is chronicled here; getting into the building itself was one of the challenges:

It turns out that the building is completely sealed from the outside by large concrete boulders. The only way in was to cut one of the locks or to somehow move one of the boulders with our strength. Since we neither had the strength nor the bolt cutters on us, we had to find another way in. We walked around the entire building before finally getting in through a fallen down section of the building sitting over the water. Simon and I had to literally hold on to the crumbling building and hoist ourselves up to the other side. It wasn’t exactly hard, but it wasn’t easy either. In the end, the important thing was that we were in and that’s all that mattered to me.

The photo series is available at You can also see some large-format photos that Jake Dobkin took of the Grain Terminal a couple of years ago on his photoblog
Red Hook Grain Factory [Herman Yung]
Pictures from the Red Hook Grain Factory [Dooby Brain]

0 Comment

  • i wonder what type of trouble this lands you in if you are caught? seems worth it for the pictures, but the police would probably confiscate those as well.

  • Amazing photo series. Just the thought of falling down one of those shaftways is enough to scare the %$#% out of me.

    I wonder what Mr. Q would say knowing that someone was walking around over there. Then again, he’s been a little busy trying to keep 364 Henry from crumbling…

  • years ago, when the port authority owned the property, i arranged an inspection.

    first floor was easy enough. the port authority had a key.

    but in order to get to the top floor you needed to take some seriously stupid(hindsight and all) risks.

    it was worth it. the top floor has the absolute best 360 degree view i have ever seen. water, city, industry, nature.

    the breeze up there was quite unsettling though. strong enough to make you lose your balance.

    when we came back down about two hours later the port authority people were about to call a search team in.

    as with anything, the whole grain terminal property cries out for some special investment/activity. wont happen though.

  • very cool, but a little too freddy kruegerish for this scaredey cat


  • So basically they trespassed on an abandoned industrial site and took predictable pictures of a rusting facility. That’s cool?

    “came away with some amazing shots.”

    That’s a matter of opinion.

  • Not withstanding the instructional on how to gain access to this secured building for the purposes of trespassing I enjoyed the photos.

  • Beautiful photos. Very powerful.

    There is a website- and I have to check with Montrose because I can’t remember the name- of photos taken in abandoned buildings all over the country. They’re very evocative and moving.

  • ENY, did you use abandoned and trespassed in the same sentence?

    I love this kind of work.

  • Too bad they had to leave the “Doobybrain” bumper stickers like calling cards. That exudes professionalism, don’t you think?

  • “ENY, did you use abandoned and trespassed in the same sentence?”

    Yes, I did, and that was wrong. I should have substituted “closed” for abandoned.

  • bxgirl – it would be great if you could post that info. i’m really interested in doing a story about urban archaeology across the US.

  • parkedslope- I’ll post it later on tonight on the forum. I have to get the info from Montrose. But youy have to promise to let us read the article!

  • parkedslope- I found some links- I’m sseveral computers past the one I had saved those abandoned buildings links on.

    and if you google “abandoned buildings” a bunch of websites come up

  • Would make a great museum – a la Dia Beacon.

  • parked slope, this is called ‘urban exploration’, the infiltration and study of off limits, under-used, and abandoned spaces. google the term and you will find a whole class of people that do this, in NYC as well.


    Bxgrl listed this site, which was the one I had shown her.

    I love some of the shots all of these guys take, but they take great risks, and since there is usually only one or two of them, standing close to each other while exploring, they take the very obvious chance of both plunging to their deaths, say, oh, every other shot, especially when not on the ground floor, and not being found for months, if ever. I suppose that’s part of the thrill, and I sound like their mothers, but what they are doing is illegal and dangerous. I love taking pictures of abandoned buildings, but permission and great care needs to be taken. If that is acquired, really amazing photos have been taken.