Saturday, April 12, 2008
GOING UNDERGROUND IN BROOKLYN
Back in 1980, Bob Diamond had a hunch....that there was a tunnel running under Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue that was built more than 150 years ago. He was right.
One day while watching a utility crew, Diamond insisted that the men drill a hole into the side of the manhole. What he discovered was what is believed to be the oldest tunnel in the United States. The tunnel was built in 1844, but it was shutdown less than 20 years later. Imagine a steam-powered locomotive running underground. This creates all sorts of problems. Number one: smoke and smog. How do you get rid of it. In fact, Diamond believes the old engine is still buried in an inaccessible portion of the tunnel near the Brooklyn waterfront.
On April 20Th, Diamond will invite guests into his underground lair. He offers tours just once a year, sometimes less.
It's an absolutely fabulous tour. A few years ago, I went and although fascinating and informative, Diamond can't stop talking. After a while my friends and I just kind of wandered off. It's not that the guy is trying to annoy anyone, he just has such a passion for this train hobby of his.
For this month's adventure, Diamond is also previewing a documentary done on him and tunnel. I suppose you'll be watching it inside the tunnel. The tours start at 1:00pm on April 20Th and you must reserve your place in advance. You can find out more at http://www.brooklynrail.net