Many U.S. cities have some sort of hidden underground.1 Seattle has its underground downtown,2 Portland has its Shanghai Tunnels,3 Kansas City has a 5 million square foot office and industrial complex inside a network of reclaimed limestone mines,4 and Cincinnati even has a sealed-off subway system (with six completed stations) that never opened for business.
Given the number of hidden urban undergrounds around the US, I had to wonder whether my hometown — Milwaukee — has its own secrets beneath street level. …
- In this article, I mean “underground” in a completely literal sense. I’m not talking about the black market, or hidden subcultures or anything like that. “Underground” means stuff below the surface of the city. [↩]
- The Seattle Underground consists of original ground level building entrances, sidewalks, etc. which ended up underground when the city raised the downtown street level one to two stories following the 1889 Seattle Fire. [↩]
- The Shanghai Tunnels run under Portland’s downtown and were used to supply hotels and businesses from ships docked on the Willamette River. Despite their name, historians continue to debate whether the tunnels actually were used for the practice of shanghaiing drunk sailors. [↩]
- “SubTropolis, U.S.A.,” Steve Nadis, The Atlantic, April 13, 2010. [↩]