- Bob Diamond rediscovering the Atlantic Avenue tunnel in 1980. (Courtesy the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association)
For three decades after he re-discovered it in 1980, Brooklyn railway historian Bob Diamond offered tours of the abandoned 1844 Long Island Railroad tunnel under Atlantic Avenues between Court and Hicks streets with the city’s blessing, but last year the FDNY brought a stop to the urban spelunking after shutting down a planned Rooftop Films screening down there. But Diamond, never one to back down—see: his fight for trolleys in Red Hook—is suing the city and fire department to regain access to the tunnel.
Diamond filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city’s Department of Transportation and fire department last week, though the Post reportsed yesterday that the city has yet to be served.
Last week, shortly after filing the suit, Diamond told Gothamist:
I’m pleased to announce that we at BHRA have taken an affirmative step to reclaim our rights to the Atlantic Avenue tunnel and the Red Hook streetcar project. A few moments ago, our attorneys filed a nearly $100 million lawsuit against NYC DOT and the FDNY, for their illegal and immoral activities taken against our public service projects.
While we await the outcome of the case—a Low Line-style underground park?—here’s a short History Channel segment on Diamond and the Atlantic Avenue tunnel.