The Secret NYPD Tunnel Behind Brooklyn Heights’ Decoy Brownstone

04/13/2010 4:34 PM |

fake Brooklyn Heights staircase building

Following a story in yesterday’s Brooklyn Eagle about a “three-story brownstone [that] looks like any other on the cobblestone block in Brooklyn [Heights],” but in fact “leads directly down to the nation’s largest subway system,” Curbed looked into the matter and discovered that the decoy brownstone is 58 Joralemon Street, pictured. It’s hardly a secret to those living in the Heights, though.

A local community group’s neighborhood history calls it “the world’s only Greek Revival subway ventilator” (watch out, architectural history joke!), and the BP‘s account of what lurks behind is half-Matrix, half-Alice in Wonderland:

the exit disguised as a brownstone leads to a grimy-lit set of metal stairs that ascend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into a windowless room with a door. If you opened the door, you would find yourself on a stoop, which is just part of the façade.

See, Brooklyn has secret underground passageways too.