Going Down Under in Brooklyn, New York
For more than a century, the lost Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel in Brooklyn was a thing of legend: The New York Times printed a story about tunnel-dwelling pirates in 1893, and sci-fi author H.P. Lovecraft portrayed it as a vampire den in a 1927 short story. The tunnel's actual history is not so fanciful but still interesting: Cornelius Vanderbilt built it in 1844 to reroute Long Island Rail Road trains that were accidentally mowing down pedestrians. The tunnel was abandoned in 1861 and only rediscovered in 1980. (A steam engine is reputedly still buried somewhere inside.) Tours of the tunnel were—up until recently—available through the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association. They have since been suspended by the city, with no word on when (or whether) they will be able to resume. The entrance is located at the intersection of Court Street and Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, near the Trader Joe's.