The Oldest Subway Tunnel in the World

Screenshot 2014-02-06 10.52.29One day a few years ago I was walking along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and there was a makeshift cordon of orange safety cones in the middle of the street, an open manhole cover inside the cordon, and a ladder sticking out of the manhole. There was also, at this busy intersection outside of Trader Joe’s, a line of mostly young people waiting to be escorted through traffic to the ladder, upon which they would descend into the subterranean… what?

Some of the people waiting told us there was an old forgotten subway tunnel at the bottom of the ladder and they were signed up for a tour of it. $15 they told us the tour cost, and while that seemed like a lot of money to see a hole, that hole looked awfully intriguing.

I didn’t hear much about the forgotten subway after that, I guess because—as this story in The Verge says—the city revoked the tour operator’s license to offer them. The history of the tunnel, its discovery by an intrepid young man, and the ways it defined and changed his life, makes for good reading.

The intrigue continues.

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