Project Description

North Brother Island

Situated in the East River just west of Rikers Island, North Brother was the site of a medical complex used to quarantine people with infectious diseases and later, for a brief period, as a rehabilitation center for drug addicts.  Its most famous inhabitant was Typhoid Mary, who died in Riverside Hospital.  The center was closed in the 1960s and the island, now off limits to the public, is a bird sanctuary.

I am grateful to the New York City Parks Department for allowing me to visit the island and make these photographs.  My last planned trip there was to have happened on the day that Hurricane Sandy struck New York City. It was, of course, canceled.


Archival pigment on Arches Hot Press watercolor paper (uncoated)
22″ x 30″
Edition of 3
© 2011 Deborah O’Grady