There is something that has always fascinated me about abandoned places. It must be the invitation to unravel the story behind them.
Michigan Central Station | This is the original Detroit / Windsor tunnel – the Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, opened in 1910. Many people dont even know its there, but it passes behind Michigan Central Station, and submerges before you get to Fort Street.
The 1929 Michigan Theater in Detroit now serves as a parking lot, the disonnance between its architecture and current usage symptomatic of the former industrial boom city's inexorable decline; photo Sean Hemmerle
Chicago's underground freight tunnels. 40' below the surface, only 6' wide and 7' high. Tiny trains traveled from basement to basement delivering mail to businesses, dropping of heating coal and hauling away cinders. Construction began in 1899. As businesses stopped heating with coal furnaces, the main excuse for its existence began to fade and the freight line faded with it, finally succumbing in 1959. The tunnels were flooded in 1992.
Cincinnati's abandoned subway. Interestingly, the country’s largest abandoned subway tunnel is not in New York, Chicago or Boston but in Cincinnati. Six stations were built and 16 miles of tunnel were completed before the project lost steam and was abandoned.
To The Trains sign at London Underground's abandoned Down Street Station. . London has several unused stations, including Down Street, which already out of use by the time of World War II, and was put into service as an air raid shelter. It was even used on occasion by Winston Churchill and his war time cabinet. The station, complete with a long spiral staircase, is once again unused.
This is the Laurel Hill Tunnel, a remarkable feature of the original Pennsylvania Turnpike. Originally the vision of a railroad man, the tunnel was begun with picks and shovels in the 1800s, but the work stopped short when the railroad project fell through. It would be left to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to finish the task 55 years later. Eleven men gave their lives to complete the marvel of modern engineering but it outlived its usefulness after only 24 years.
The original St. Clair tunnel, which links Port Huron, Michigan with Sarnia, Ontario, was the first railroad tunnel to pass beneath a river. In its day it was the longest river tunnel in the world and the first cast iron tunnel of its kind. During its years of operation, the tunnel claimed several lives, saw two failed terrorist attempts and even had one birth. It has been closed to rail traffic since 1994 when a new tunnel was created.
.In early 1962, a fire began in Centralia, PA's garbage dump, which happened to have been built on top of a coal seam. The coal caught fire and spread into the mine. It is still burning to this day. Today there are only a few hearty residents left. In 2002, the US Postal Service revoked the borough's Zip Code.