World's most mysterious buildings
Mysteries come in many forms: ancient, modern, unsolved, and unexplained. But the world’s most mysterious buildings are a physical force to be reckoned with. They’ve become popularized on websites full of user-generated and editor-curated like Abandoned-places.com, weburbanist.com, and AtlasObscura.com, an exhaustive database of the unusual.
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Our definition of mysterious is broad and varied. Some buildings on our list are being eaten alive by the earth, such as a lava-buried church in the remote highlands ofMexico. Others have design elements that seem to defy logic or were mysteriously abandoned centuries ago. New York’s shadowy Renwick Smallpox Hospital has more recent traces of human life—and an eerie energy that lingers. We’ve got the photo proof.
(Photo: Karel Jaros)
New York City
This abandoned Smallpox Hospital, replete with granite veneer, corbelled parapets, and mansard roofs, is a reminder of Gotham’s grisly past. Its 100 hospital beds once hosted quarantined immigrants suffering from the gruesome disease. An ongoing $4.5 million restoration project will open Renwick to the public in 2013, kicking off with an art project that includes giant butterflies hovering over the site.
Mystery: Renwick is currently illuminated at night by an anonymous patron, who purportedly has a view of it from an Upper East Side penthouse.
Visit: The American Institute of Architects and Classic Harbor Line offer architecture-themed cruises around Manhattan with lectures on Renwick and other mysterious city sites.
(Photo: Blue Rose Photography)
Santa Fe, NM
The imposing Gothic Revival church’s spiral staircase is a woodwork masterpiece that somehow connects the choir loft to the ground-level pews—without a central column for stability, and with wooden pegs instead of nails.
Mystery: Legend has it that an anonymous carpenter built the staircase in 1878 then disappeared without pay.