Thursday, January 1, 2015
Fake Houses Are Everywhere
(Above: Can you spot the fake house?)
I can't believe I've never posted on this subject. It's one that's fascinated me for quite some time.
The fact is, if you live in a major metropolitan area, there's a good chance that at least one of the houses you regularly pass on the street isn't quite . . . real.
Take, for example, 23/24 Leinster Gardens in London (shown above). It looks like a house. It has columns and balconies and plants growing in the boxes out front. But the whole thing's just for show. The house that once stood on the site was torn down in the 19th century to make way for a subway line. To keep the neighbors happy, a facade was built to hide the gaping hole and open train tracks that replaced the lovely dwelling.
But unless you took a very close look, you'd probably never know the difference! (Want to know more? Check out the whole story and more pictures here.)
But enough with London. Recently, I was thrilled to learn that there's a brownstone in Brooklyn that hides a secret entrance to/exit from the New York subway system. And only the NYPD knows where it is! According to the Associated Press . . .
The NYPD allowed the AP to visit the hidden exit — fronted by the phony house in a quiet residential neighborhood — on the condition that its origins and location not be disclosed. The department also barred photos.
Located in the tunnel just east of the river, the exit leads to a grimy lit set of metal stairs that ascend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into a bleak, windowless room with a door. Anyone opening the door would find themselves on a stoop — part of the facade replicating a town house.
The passageway once was secured from the outside only by a giant bolt in the middle of the door that was opened with a tire iron. It's now rigged with silent alarms and motion detectors that would alert police to an intruder.
Awesome. I believe it is my duty as a citizen of Brooklyn to discover the location of this house and use the entrance to begin my subterranean life of crime. (Kidding!) If any of you find it first, send me a picture! I promise I won't tell a soul.
(Oh, and I know for a fact that it's not the only dummy house in NYC. So even if you spend your days in one of the four other boroughs, you should still keep an eye out!)