If the film Being John Malkovich enjoyably heightened your perception of a world beyond the visible realm of normality then 58 Joralemon Street is the address for you. Like a cross between an Escher lithograph and an episode of Dr. Who the brownstone facade is in fact a secret 19th century entrance to the New York City subway system.
According to urban myth or NYPD reliable sources, beyond the deceptive entrance is a windowless room that leads to a grimily lit set of metal stairs that descend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into the bowels of the city’s transit system, providing an alluring challenge for architectural adventurers and a nightmarish security risk for the anti-terrorism squad.
On second inspection the entrance is in fact labeled ‘Exit #1,’ scrawled in black marker on the front door plate and a wet standpipe adjoining the building is legibly marked ‘Joralemon Street Tunnel IRT 4,5 Line NYC Transit’ leaving the aura of mystery unearthed with the bitter taste of disenchantment. Brooklyn Heights is in fact home to many unmarked, rarely used entrances to the subway system which branch out from under the East River to various points around the borough.
The NYPD now has heightened security measures around this exit; silent alarms, motion detectors and additional doorbolts. The concern that terrorists might try to infiltrate the subway shafts or tamper with the ventilation system makes this an unwise choice for matrix style urban explorers who may find themselves in the back of a squad car faster than they can say “red pill.”