New York, New York: Collyer Brothers Park - Famous Hoarders

The reclusive Collyer brothers became famous when they were found dead in their three-story townhouse packed with 180 tons of junk. A tiny park in their memory now fills the footprint of their demolished hoarder hell (or heaven).

Address:
2078 Fifth Ave., New York, NY
Directions:
In Harlem, on the northwest corner of 128th St. and Fifth Ave.
Admission:
Free
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Park entrance.

Collyer Brothers Park - Famous Hoarders

The Collyer Brothers Park is sitting right where the home used to be. There are several other parks as well that are dedicated to people along the same street.

[Jennifer Copeland, 02/04/2019]
Collyer Brothers Park

In 1947 two recluse brothers in their sixties were found dead in their three-story brownstone in Harlem. The house was filled with 180 tons of junk and garbage that had been configured to create booby traps for intruders. Langley Collyer died after accidentally setting off one of his own traps, and Homer Collyer, blind and bedridden, then died from neglect. Crowds numbering in the hundreds watched the cleanup effort for weeks. For years afterward hoarding was called Collyer Brothers Syndrome.

In 1986 I visited New York City for the Statue of Liberty centennial. The city was packed, but I bet I'm the only person who wanted to visit that particular place. At the time it was just a tiny empty lot, but now it is a tiny public park, fenced in and cared for, with a sign designating it as Collyer Brothers Park.

[Teresa Fisher, 06/26/2014]

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In the region:
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