The Bat Cave, a decrepit MTA powerhouse on the shore of the toxic Gowanus canal, has long been a point of interest for many urban explorers. Nathan Kensinger, AbandonedNYC, and many more have all traipsed through the crumbling building's graffiti-covered interior. Once home to a band of teenage runaways, the building has seen dozens of squatters over the last decade. Earlier this summer, a photographer and Curbed tipster ventured into the site. Here now, we have 25 photos from his excursion, and his firsthand report of how the Bat Cave looks today.
Our tipster writes:
Like the rest of the district, the Gowanus Bat Cave epitomizes the grit and grime that's seen only in patches throughout New York City. The building has been wiped clean of the original machinery but contains remnants from what was apparently the craziest multi-decade party?ever. The first thing you'll notice is the street art covering virtually every patch of bare wall and the distinct sound-deadening panels overhead. It's only when you look down that you see what really went on here. Judging from the needles?hundreds of them scattered?the drug of choice was quite obvious. Beyond that though creepy dolls, torched spoons, piles of spray paint cans, books and drug rehab center papers are among the piles of detritus. The smaller rooms on the perimeter were all readapted by the squatters as bedrooms. It was in these rooms that you could begin the understand what life was like for these people. The walls were covered in messages of hate and complete despair. Pretty sad, really, but it gave me a clear sense of what it must have been like for those calling it home. The Rapid Transit Central Power House deserves attention for historical reasons as a major player in NYC's industrial legacy, but I think it calls for extra attention when considering the horrific acts that went down there long after it served its intended purpose.
After visiting, I have to admit though, it was much easier to believe the NY Daily News reports of a homeless man thrown to his death from the third floor or of the junkies who were carted to the street after overdosing on heroin. In fact, if it wasn't for the canal touching on the property I would definitely expect to find a body or two among the debris as ridiculous as that sounds.
· Gowanus Bat Cave coverage [Curbed]