itineraries

new york secrets

by Anna Balkrishna and Erin O’Hara

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  • bbbombshelter_v1_460x285.jpg
  • Cold War Bomb Shelter in the Brooklyn Bridge
    In 2006, City inspectors stumbled upon a hidden chamber inside the Brooklyn Bridge, located just under the bridge's Lower Manhattan entrance ramp. The room was stockpiled with decades-old military provisions for surviving a nuclear bomb attack: blankets, medicine, water containers and around 352,000 crackers. Supply boxes stamped with the dates 1957 and 1962 indicate that the bunker was used during the height of the Cold War, later to be sealed up and forgotten. For security reasons, City officials have kept the exact location of the chamber a secret—most of the 150,000 pedestrians who cross the bridge each day have no idea that it even exists. —AB

    That's not the only secret space inside the belly of the bridge; located within its base, a series of vast rooms known as the Brooklyn Anchorage was used for music and theater performances, readings and art exhibitions for nearly 20 years. Each of the eight impressive rooms has brick walls and a 50-foot-high ceiling. The space was closed for business after 9/11 for security reasons and, unfortunately, will not be open again anytime soon. —EO

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