Part of New York City‘s charm is in the many clandestine sites hidden throughout the city. In fact, there are secret passageways and rooms tucked away unnoticed in some of the most highly trafficked structures in NYC. Take the Brooklyn Bridge, which is crossed every day by commuters who have no idea that there is a Cold War-era bunker inside of it.
Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, courtesy of Stanley Greenberg
The beloved bridge’s Cold War-era bunker was discovered in 2006 inside one of the stone arches under the crossing’s main entrance on the Manhattan side. Even more surprising than its discovery is that the bomb shelter was found fully intact on the interior. At the time it was unearthed, the shelter was filled with survival supplies such as medicine, water drums, paper blankets and approximately 352,000 high-calorie crackers. All of the supplies were marked with significant dates for the era: 1957 (Soviets launched Sputnik) and 1962 (Cuban Missile Crisis).
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Of course, the bunker discovery is not the only known secret room located in the bridge. Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage is a series of eight rooms found on the Brooklyn side that were designed by the bridge’s architect, John Roebling. The space was originally destined to be developed into a shopping area, but the project never came to fruition, and instead was used as storage until being closed out of security concerns in 2001.