This octagonal building is all that’s left of the infamous New York Lunatic Asylum, about which reporter Nellie Bly wrote, in her book Ten Days in a Mad-House: “A criminal . . . is given every chance to prove his innocence. Who would not rather be a murderer and take the chance for life than be declared insane, without hope of escape?”
These days, it’s a very fancy apartment building.
To learn more, check out the essay I wrote, The Ghosts of Hell Gate, in the Feminine Macabre (follow the link in @spookeats ‘s bio to get that!)