Brooklyn’s 9 Best Hidden Gems

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7. Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel

Built beneath the streets of Brooklyn all the way back in 1844, when Brooklyn was still a city of its own, the Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel is officially the world’s oldest. It’s half-a-mile long and could accommodate 2 standard-gauge tracks. It was built in 7 months to provide separation for early trains that lacked decent brakes, which were causing accidents on roadways. The abandoned tunnel was rediscovered in 1980 and is now a Historic Landmark, both in New York state and at the federal level. The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association, formed in 1982 to publicize the historic site, continues to maintain the tunnel. Until 2010, they offered public tours of the tunnel; the New York Department of Transit has since canceled tours through 2018. The tunnel is technically closed to the public, although there has been an ongoing struggle to have the tunnel re-opened.

Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel

6. Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower

Lots of Manhattan’s famous landmarks are skyscrapers: the Freedom Tower of the World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center all readily spring to mind. Brooklyn’s skyscrapers aren’t nearly as iconic, but that doesn’t mean the views they provide are any less breathtaking. The Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower was once Brooklyn’s only skyscraper. These days, it’s the third-tallest building in Brooklyn (and probably the nicest to look at, although somewhat phallic in nature). The former bank is situated at the convergence of Brooklyn’s most important thoroughfares. Although the building is mixed residential and private offices these days and the public observation decks are abandoned, you can still see the building from miles around. It ranks among the tallest clock towers in the world and is an iconic part of the Brooklyn skyline.

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