Notes from the Underground: The Secret Tunnels of Brooklyn

Notes from the Underground: The Secret Tunnels of Brooklyn
Arts & Culture
Contributing Writer
  • 23 march 2009

Enter Electus Litchfield, contractor-swindler. It is Litchfield who Bob Diamond can thank for his tunnel. Litchfield was paid $130,000 to refill the tunnel, but instead simply capped its ends, sealed its manhole covers, and forged documents to state that the tunnel had been completely refilled. After that, the world’s first subway was forgotten.

That is, until 1981 when a little blue dot on Diamond’s “treasure map” led him to a smooth manhole cover near the intersection of Court Street and Atlantic Avenue. After removing the cover with Department of Transportation workers, Diamond crawled seventy feet to find a small door. With a long metal bar, he punched through the tunnel’s roof and broke through to its cool interior. It measured seventeen feet tall, twenty-one feet wide, and some 1,611 feet long.

But there was something missing—the train.

“Something inside of me told me that the tunnel was real, that it wasn’t just someone’s wishful thinking,” recalls Diamond. “That’s the same gut instinct that I have about the other side of that stone wall.” Diamond suspects there is another six blocks of tunnel closed off with a bulkhead, behind which, he believes, will be the missing locomotive.

Now more than thirty years since his quest for the tunnel and its train began, Diamond hopes that 2009 will finally be the year he breaks through the wall, proving or disproving the myth of the mystery locomotive once and for all.

Diamond gives 1.5 hour tours of Brooklyn’s hidden tunnel. The next tour is scheduled for April 19. Check here for more details.

A documentary about Diamond’s quest, entitled “What’s Behind the Wall?,” is currently in production. Watch a preview of the upcoming documentary below:

– Contributed by James Hilger

Arts & Culture

Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Brand Development Today

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Today

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Today

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Today

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Related Expert

George Kvasnikov

Interface & Graphic Designer

Travel Today

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Today

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Today

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Advertising Today

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Today

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Today

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Today

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Today

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Today

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

Arts & Culture Today

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

No search results found.