Far beneath the streets and tucked away from subway stations, New York is filled with hidden tunnels and underground spaces that are the stuff of legend. We take you to places that will completely change your perspective on what lies directly beneath your feet in NYC. This is part one of our two-part series Underground NYC.
1) Crown Finish Caves – Crown Heights, Brooklyn
A brewery first popped up in Brooklyn at the intersection of Bergen Street and Franklin Avenue way back in 1849. The facility had several names and owners over the following decades before eventually taking up the moniker of Nassau Brewing Company. In 1866, the owners added an icehouse to the intersection, and a tunnel to connect it to the brewery. The space is currently being occupied by Crown Finish Caves, a cheesemaker that uses the underground space to age its stinky dairy products. Periodic tours and events are hosted in the space, so if you want to explore one of Brooklyn’s most historic subterranean spaces, keep an eye out for updates from the company.
2) McCarren Park Pool Tunnel – Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The now-renovated pool at Greenpoint’s McCarren Park dates back to the Great Depression (it was one of 11 massive pools around the city that were commissioned by FDR’s Works Progress Administration). Hidden beneath the park is a set of access tunnels and drainage pipes that could make any urban explorer foam at the mouth. Several people have chronicled their ventures into the pool’s catacombs, and access to them isn’t exactly legal, but that’s the case for many of the locations on this list.
3) The Basilica of St. Patrick's Cathedral Catacombs – SoHo, Manhattan
The 200-year-old Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (the one in SoHo, not Midtown) sits over ancient catacombs that are usually off-limits to the public. However, an official 90-minute tour can take you through the ghostly subterranean lair. This unique and historic site serves as the final resting place for many prominent New Yorkers, including the Delmonico family, General Thomas Eckert (a confidant of Abraham Lincoln), Honest John Kelly of Tammany Hall and the first resident Bishop of New York, Bishop John Connolly.
Check out our blog next Sunday for part 2!