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For anyone venturing upriver, no landmark is more intriguing than Pollepel Island, 50 miles north of the Battery.  But it’s changing.   Note this difference between these fotos I’ve taken over the past decade.

2003, as seen from the Channel, looking roughly east. Notice the lower wall and the upper wall with four sides, which I’ll call west, north, and east and south sides not visible.

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earlier this August 2013 as seen from Patty Nolan from the same approximate location.  Notice that the upper structure NOW has only a west-facing wall.  Unrelated to this landmark, but you can see the photographer in the mirror.

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Here’s an August 2013 closer-up, showing the upper west wall only.

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Here are the south and east walls as seen from the land looking west in spring 2007.  The east wall is now all gone, as is a large portion of the south wall . . . here bathed in the most sunlight.

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Same vantage point… south and east walls, as seen from MetroNorth train later in the spring 2008.

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And another view of the west and north walls from fall 2008.

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The island is off limits, but you can get a tour via Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc.

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I took the tour yesterday.  Here’s the south wall.  Compare what remains of the stairs here with what you could see in the 2007 and 2008 fotos.  Click here for more before/after views.

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Closer-up of those stairs.  Notice the metal tubing near lower right side of the foto?

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Here’s that metal tubing, remnants of a drawbridge.

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More of the south side.  Bannerman saw architectural cannonballs as his logo, and they are everywhere.

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Balls and balls and more balls.

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Here are closer-ups of the north and west walls.   Scaffolding will soon appear here, as attempts are made to keep these facades from crumbling as well.

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More cannonballs.

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Reportedly, these “balls” are cementaceous orbs stuck onto surplus bayonets embedded in the brick.  I can’t verify this story, but Bannermans business was Army/Navy surplus, which his father started while the family lived near the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  Click here to see a six-minute video of their 1927 catalog;  if you generally click on no  links in this blog, this one is worth it.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who plans at least another Bannermans Island psot soon.

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