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The Quest To Enter World's Oldest Subway Under Atlantic Ave.

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This awesome tale of a dream urban exploration deferred comes from our sister site The Verge. Bob Diamond had been giving transit buffs and underground aficionados tours of the abandoned subway tunnel beneath Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill for nearly three decades when the city took away his permission to enter. An engineer by training Diamond himself is more than just a historian—in 1980 he rediscovered the former Long Island Railroad tunnel, which had been sealed up since 1861, to much media fanfare. He then restored it before becoming its preeminent (and only) tour guide. Carved out in 1844, it holds the Guinness world record for "oldest subway tunnel," beating out Boston's Tremont Street's, which dates to 1897. And now Diamond is clamoring for re-entry.

"It's like the main part of my life is gone," he told The Verge. "That tunnel was me, it was part of my persona. I'm not myself. I'm just wandering around without a purpose." Despite the city's crackdown, Diamond wants to resume his tours, and while a lawsuit to that end was filed in December, claiming $35 million in damages, he has also started a petition in his cause's name. Read the whole story for more about Diamond, the history of the tunnel and his tours, why the city curtailed them, and his quest for readmission.
· Tunnel vision: how an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway [The Verge]
· Urban Archaeology archives [Curbed]