new york secrets

by Anna Balkrishna and Erin O’Hara

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  • Tunnels Under Columbia
    Below Columbia University's Morningside Heights campus, a series of underground tunnels connects various school buildings. Tunnels below Buell Hall are just a few feet wide and are thought to date back to the insane asylum that once sat in its place, while the tunnels below Pupin Hall were a meeting place for scientists who built a cyclotron in the building's basement during the beginning stages of the Manhattan Project. While not entirely off-limits—students and faculty are technically permitted to use some of the tunnels to travel between buildings—security for the forbidden tunnels has increased in recent years in response to rogue tunnel explorers. Still, Columbia's tunnels are everything a City secret aspires to be: dark, difficult to find and brimming with history. —EO

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