Tunnel Tours of Underground New York City

Explore Old City Hall subway station, Atlantic Ave train remains

By Amy Langfield
|  Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009  |  Updated 6:05 PM EDT
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Tunnel Tours of Underground New York City

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The original City Hall subway station, seen here during its centennial celebration on October 27, 2004, opens to the public for tours just a few times a year.

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Underground, New York City is crisscrossed with a number of abandoned tunnels. And a few times a year, the public is allowed to explore them, legally.

About once a month, the half-mile Atlantic Avenue Tunnel opens up for tours led by the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association. The tunnel, built for a train in 1844, is opened up from Court to Hicks streets and is reached through a manhole in the street near Trader Joe's market.

Long forgotten, the tunnel was rediscovered in 1980 by Bob Diamond, who now leads the tours. The next tour is January 25.

The winter schedule of the New York City Transit Museum tours also offer access to abandoned spaces.

On March 7, it will host a tour of the original City Hall subway station, which was opened in 1904. You can still see its skylights, chandeliers, and arched Guastavino ceiling tiles. Reservations are required and it usually sells out early.

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